South by Southwest is one of the North American music industry’s most important showcasing and meeting forums. Hundreds of bands perform on Austin’s stages with an equal number of record execs, managers and agents in the audience searching for the next big thing. The Norwegian representation has picked up over the last couple of years, and past performers include gold-selling trio Big Bang and hot-tipped electronica duo Xploding Plastix.
SXSW 2003 will be a strong showcase for Norwegian music as no less than four bands are set to perform. Two of Norway’s most internationally successful acts Madrugada and Sondre Lerche were confirmed in December. Two additional and diverse bands are now scheduled to perform in March: Bergen electronica outfit Ralph Myerz and the Jack Herren Band plus Oslo stoner-rock veterans We.
Ralph Myerz and the Jack Herren Band first drew the public’s attention with their sublime Nikita track featured on the now legendary compilation album Tellè samleplate – an album released on hyped Bergen label Tellè Records and featuring one of Röyksopp’s earliest tracks. The word of the Myerz’ crews unique production and live qualities spread all over the world to US label Emperor Norton which promptly signed the Bergen electronica outfit for a world-wide deal. The band has spent autumn 2002 in the studio and their debut album is scheduled for release in March.
Veteran stoners We have released a slew of acclaimed albums, toured Europe for years and slowly built up a loyal fan-base in Norway and around the world. As of writing the band is on a 22-date European tour which is set to expand on the band’s following on the European market. Their latest album Dinosauric Futurophobic, released on Norwegian indie label Black Balloon Records, has garnered rave reviews all over Europe. A new EP titled Lightyears Ahead is scheduled for release in May. We have supported and collaborated with several of the genre’s biggest names including Masters of Reality and Queens of the Stone Age. The SXSW gig marks the first We concert in the US but probably not the last. Concrete plans are laid for a US tour as well as more gigs in Europe and a South American tour. sd
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