"Ballads" is the first collaborative album by two key figures of the norwegian noise, improv, experimental, whatever-you-call-it music scene.
Anyone expecting a rackety wall of distorted feedback guitars and voices will be gently surprised though by the sparse and intimate sketches to be found on this wonderful record. Songs are stripped down to their raw bones using only the most essential elements to reveal the soul behind every single sound. Superfluous effects seem to be completely absent, creating an open space for miniscule details, that you have to train your ear to, always ready to implode into noisier tracks such as "private matter". the album culminates in "hammock moods", a quietly mesmerizing epic finale with Maja Ratkje humming a beautiful melody over Hegre's gorgeous near-psychedelic guitar playing.
Maja ratkje is a member of spunk (rune grammofon) and noise duo fe-mail. her solo album "voice" (produced in collaboration with jazzkammer) got an award of distinction at prix ars electronica in 2003. in 2001 she was the first composer ever to receive the arne nordheim distinction award.
John Hegre is a member of jazzkammer /jazkamer (smalltown supersound), kaptein kaliber, golden serenades, new boiling near the fjords (with members of alog) and others.