Oya Festival Top Picks

Who to see at the Oslo event
Oya Festival by Julie Loen
Øya Festival: Tuesday 11th - Saturday 15th August, Medieval Park (Middelalderparken) in Oslo.

The annual music event in Norway’s already packed music calendar rolls onto Oslo’s beach from Tuesday 11th bringing a delightful spectrum of international stars and locally hewn legends. Øya will feature 200 bands playing across four stages set in the beautiful Middelalderparken with its trees and stall lined streets. We’ve been before so trust us when we say it’s sparkling in its beauty.

For the big game hunters we have the likes of the Arctic Monkeys, Bon Iver, Satyricon, The Bronx, Chairlift, Crystal Antlers and Monotonix. Yet, what may make your weekend will be the variety of Norwegian bands and artists who’ll quickly show that Norway is a nation that knows how to rock, roll and rave as well as any other.

We delve into the myriad of home grown acts and present our top picks alongside those of the other journalists heading over to the Øya Festival.

Matt Bennett, Clash :






Mungolian Jet Set

The Norwegians do disco better than most and this cosmic duo are no exception. Deep, dark and percussive their sonic trajectories are set steeply to the stars. The magical pairing of Pål Nyhus and Knut Petter Sævik will keep you dancing 'til you shimmy straight passed the Northern lights into the Mungolian’s own twinkling galaxies of sound.

http://www.myspace.com/mungolianjetset

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Captain Credible

It’s all too easy for electronic music to lack character. Not so with Captain Credible. Our captain has AS much personality as he does bleeps and bass. And he’s surfing a bigger lysergic wave than most. We’ve heard loads about this chap and Clash is looking forward to discovering the flavour of his mosh pit. A sonic stramash that sounds like Legowelt having a wank in the Warp offices. Whilst Trent Reznor watches and beats off too. Messy.

http://www.myspace.com/nortmiehd

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Ungdomskulen

Perhaps the most hyped and eagerly awaited of the Norwegians this year, it seems the festival can’t come around fast enough for their fans. Or Ungdomskulen themselves. Their blocky, 8-Bit rock destroyed our London Clash club in May as their relentless, kinetic and most importantly fun rock is precise yet injected with enough buoyancy to carry any crowd. They may rule the whole festival.

http://www.myspace.com/ungdomskulen

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Harry’s Gym

We had the pleasure of catching these icy rockers in February at the By:Larm conference as they fast impressed with their gnats ass rhythms squeezed ever tighter, glacial delivery and pounding songs borne for the stadiums. We have no idea why they are called Harry’s Gym but relish the chance to find out this weekend over Øya.

http://www.myspace.com/harrysgym

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DiskJokke

Another Smalltown Supersound artist but too good not to tip the Clash hat at, Joachim Dyrdahl has been making his spaced out dance music since he was 15. You can fucking tell. Now a jewel in the crowns of labels such as Feedelity, Rebirth and Bear Funk, he’s a dexterous man of dance who brings a rare subtlety to his productions. Whereas Lindstrom often gets the plaudits, Joachim may increasingly be winning the deeper hearts.

http://www.myspace.com/diskjokke

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Andy Inglis - The Luminiare, booker:






Ungdomskulen

Still the best band Norway has ever produced (sorry A-Ha), theirs is a near-uncategorisable collision of tech-prog-rock-disco, performed with awesome musicianship and a wilful disregard for traditional song-structures. It's about time the UK industry woke up to them instead of shaking their heads at their “funny” name then going back to watching the Sun shine out of Fleet Foxes’ collective arsehole. And who doesn’t love a four-minute clockwork cowbell breakdown? You don’t? Well fuck off then.

http://www.myspace.com/ungdomskulen

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Manhattan Skyline

Running Ungdomskulen a close second for the best-band-Norway-has-ever-produced award, they managed to deliver the finest live performance I've seen in five years at last year's Øya, and gave me welcome respite from the cloying, crushing dullness of Fleet Foxes pretty five-part harmonies on the other stage. Expect incendiary mathcore/tech-metal. And no pretty five-part harmonies.

http://www.myspace.com/manhattanbitches

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Norma Sass

A pop band! A good one too. They have linguistic dexterity and lyrical finesse thanks to Thea Glenton Raknes and her agile, mellifluous voice and they play their instruments pretty well too. One of the most enjoyable acts at by:Larm earlier this year and the fact they're easy-on-the-eye girls in summery dresses doesn't hurt. But don't let that distract you from all that shiny indie-pop, particularly 'Born In The ’80s'.

http://www.myspace.com/normasass

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Captain Credible

It's not like we don't have a few one-man synth'n'toy instruments set-ups around but few are as engaging or as funny as Oslo's Captain Credible. Imagine Squarepusher performed on a Spectrum 48k by someone called Daniel Eugene Lacey-McDermott. Good eh?

http://www.myspace.com/nortmiehd

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Nils Bech

Nils Bech's voice is accented and camp-operatic and it knits together a warm but regimented palette of electro-pop. It's as likely to piss me off as it is to make me tap my feet, and it's a nailed-on, cast-iron guarantee that he's got a shaved chest, but whatever. He plays with a saxophonist on stage, is a mainstay of Oslo's contemporary performance art scene, probably thinks of his songs as 'compositions', and sounds a wee bit like Patrick Wolf if Patrick Wolf was a big Pet Shop Boys fan, and, for that last reason alone, I'm in.

http://www.myspace.com/nilsbech

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Read more recommendations HERE.

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