Track By Track: Nordland – Live at Fri/Son ’87
For some people, it takes their whole lives searching for something.
Whether far or close, it often comes unexpected, but these events do happen for a reason and usually have a pursue. Some people search for meaning whilst others for their significant other. Paths can suddenly become clear and true.
For a band like Nordland, they found themselves in the streets of an eighties Zurich protest. Even if given immortality to think about places where you could find your purpose, the time would be wasted if you were to have guessed that romance and riots would ever go together.
Amid the chaos of that day, when all you could hear was the shouts of protestors, the smell of the violence in the air, anger in the eyes and hope spread on lips, one can look back forty years later, where the events that followed all now seem like a distant dream, but that remained reality into changing the lives of this pair forever.
The genesis of Nordland partly came from this scenario. Mario Scherrer and Priska Weber found something in each other that led them being together to this day. Spanning a career of over 10 years, this album features Nordland’s early works that were composed a couple of years before and prior of Squares and Crossings (DDP004). An intriguing approach to New Wave music, incorporating elements of pop and new age whilst not sacrificing the duo’s musical influences, the music of Nordland is at the time melancholic and fresh, which they like to compare to the bleakness and vastness of fairy tale like forests. Despite having a few lineup changes, Nordland’s breakthrough gig was as a pair, opening for the Irratics and The Young Gods in Fri-Son (Fribourg, CH) on the 9th of May, 1987.
Sourced from the original tapes provided by the SRF3 (then called DRS3); the national Radio for the German and Romansh territories of Switzerland. This never before released live set has been enhanced and remastered by yours truly (Dee Dee’s Picks) in lip biting stereo and will not only include their breakthrough gig from Fri-Son but also the reissue of their debut self-titled EP.
Below Mario and Priska recall the themes, process and influences behind each track on Live at Fri/Son ’87 played during that Fribourg set…
Recall You/Some Different
A typical opener where the voice is surrounded with a wall of sound followed by a much lower song which is thematically influenced by Gentle Giant’s “Three Friends” but rather focused on just one person.
Nothing to Explain
A relic of the punk era.
No More (= Around the Circle’s Ground)
An experimental song with different samples of classical music, recontextualised and treated with an Akai S-900.
The main theme discusses all the fake and pretend behavior we adopt in social life. The music used is supposed to underline this feeling of deception..
This little song reflects a carefree summer morning in the countryside.
Still Waters Run Deep
A sad song in d-minor tells the story of a friend who had decided to end his life by sucide. I emphasised the narrative musically by making the organ the dominant instrument.
An instrumental piece with subtle modifications of the factory sounds from the Roland’s JX3P.
She Didn’t Realize
An electronic tune influenced by New Order. It was always our intention to merge traditional instruments with electronic ones.
A simple song with a traditional structure, but perhaps not as simple as it seems. The lyrics refer to the irresistible eyes of our beloved cat Hannes from that time.
All You Citizens
The final song is full of science fiction elements and tells us a story about human beings who have to spend their lives in the underground like refugees. In this way one can see an unfortunate, dystopian reality. It is not a coincidence that this was written around the time of the Züri Brännt riots in Switzerland during the 1980s. The piece was written incidentally in relation to those events.
Live at Fri/Son ’87 is out now on Dee Dee’s Picks.