Wednesday, February 25, 2009


When is truly one of those groups you can't categorize -- everything from cut-and-paste industrial mash-ups to the most sporadic folk/pop/electronic veins of When's music confound and bombard the listener, often all at once.

When is primarily Norway's Lars Pederson, who employs various accompanying musicians throughout his albums (starting with his debut, 'Drowning but Learning' in 1987).

Pederson has earned praise from nearly every corner of the music world (easy to see why, as Pederson seems to draw influence from nearly every genre, including some of his past bands -- Lars was formerly in one of Norway's first punk bands, experimental/new wave group Holy Toy, etc) -- the influence of his work largely impacted the black metal scene, particularly his second album, '
Death in the Blue Lake' -- adding elements of psych/folk/pop into black metal's familiar canvas of mourning and dark atmospheres.

Every album I've tracked down from When has impacted me in a different, positive way. His 2007, '
Trippy Happy' album is a freak-folk psych-out, holding your hand through the lightest of melodies before deserting you in a chaotic beauty of noises and hollows.

These two albums are as good an introduction as any to When's music, and I'd highly encourage to dig deeper if you dig these -- cause you never really know what you'll discover with When.

Death in the Blue Lake (1988)

Trippy Happy (2007)
mind the graves