The release of their eponymous long play debut last fall proved to be a triumph for the young Norwegian electro-rock ensemble 120 Day’s. All the Norwegian critics’ dices shone six, and summing up 2006 before Christmas, the record was voted album of the year by a majority of the corps of journalists.
But this band has already gone far beyond the domestic realm; signed to NYC’s Vice Records they have been honed for America from the start, and after the release of their album and extensive live playing the most influential American voices started pronouncing those rare superlatives.
The recurring verdict is one of admiration and almost disbelief; -towards this uncanny, dark-visionary and trance-inducing electro-rock. 120 Days represent a futuristic outline, or so the listening heart would claim, but the fascinating fact is that this future is already here, and that is what they so masterly disclose. With electronic monotony overarched by the utter despair of a human voice, we are exposed to a vision of futuristic gloom caught up with, but also with a vision of beauty and dream that is fully man-made: the human condition in a trans-designed world.
In this way 120 Days represent the zeitgeist like no other expression; the gleaming perfection that preoccupies the race that has overcome every problem but itself.
Jaguar undeniably belongs to the pantheon of carmakers with a long history of innovation, trend-setting design and race winning performance. However, it has been quite some time since Jaguar was the supercar of choice for the dashing elite whose increasing numbers and unlimited funds have fuelled an unprecedented development of mind-boggling machines.
With some of these exceeding one thousand horsepower and speeds of 400 kph the performance aspect now belongs to the space age. Rather than competing with this, Jaguar has opted for a radical new design; a new image and a new promotional concept altogether: The C-XF shows us “The Future Now” claims Jaguar, and it is in visualising this future that 120 Days play such an important role. Presenting the car in a video dominated by nightly settings, speed and the incessant flickering of artificial lights 120 Days’ trance-inducing monotony –with sheets of aural and rhythmic patterns shifting horizontally and x-raying us- coupled with humanity pushed to the edge; a voice of young despair, Jaguar presents a daunting prospect and an awesome car. “The future now” is exactly what the song “ Come out, Come down, Fade out, Be gone” seems to concern: man outpacing himself; the darkness, and then the intoxication of it; of leaving something constitutional behind and bursting out into something completely different.
Jaguar’s use of 120 Day’s music adds to a long list of songs by Norwegian artists being used by huge international companies in promotion and commercials. Another current example is the insurer Geico’s use of Royksopp’s hit old hit “Remind me”, which is now being discovered by whole new segments of Americans. Adding to this, Norwegian pop music is featuring in other alternative ways too, such as in new video games and in TV shows. This is a hugely effective way of being introduced to the decisive American market, and functions differently from the mainstream music arena. -Because while the latter is conservative and viciously difficult to enter for a new band from a small place, the TV-industry and the advertisement business seem the converse: innovative and forward looking. And it is exactly these traits that make Norwegian music the perfect soundtrack to the introduction of novel things.
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