Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje

Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje is a Norwegian avant-garde composer and performer. She, of course, releases a wide variety of music but also performs music for films, installations, theatre, dance and performance art. Maja is a member of the Norwegian free improv group Spunk with Lene Grenager, Kristin Andersen and Hild Sofie Tafjord. She performs and records with Hild Sofie Tafjord as the brilliant electronics/noise duo Fe-Mail, and performs as Agrare, with Hild Sofie Tafjord and the Swedish dancer Lotta Melin. She has also played with the Oslo Industrial Ensemble, No Spaghetti Edition with Evan Parker and Rhodrie Davies, Paal Nilssen-Love, Masami Akita (Merzbow), Zbigniew Karkowski, Gino Robair, Jaap Blonk, Oslo Sinfonietta and Lasse Marhaug. She has performed a chamber opera by Dagfinn Rosnes, especially written for her voice, among many other things such as Icelandic film music by Hjalmar Ragnarsson and performing her own music for Ibsen's play "Ghosts" at the Northlands festival in 1999. Maja briefly describes her music and motivations here:

Most of Maja's work is (surprisingly) still available if you look hard enough. I've not included some of the most recent releases. Hopefully, you will find this music as enthralling as I do and start to search it out for yourself!

Maja S. K. Ratkje

2002 - Maja Ratkje - Voice [rune grammofon]
2002 - Maja S. K. Ratkje & Jaap Blonk - Improvisors [kontrans]
2004 - Maja S. K. Ratkje & Lasse Marhaug - Music For Loving [bottrop-boy]
2005 - Maja S. K. Ratkje & Jaap Blonk - Post-Human Identities [kontrans]
2005 - Maja S. K. Ratkje & Lasse Marhaug - Music For Faking [clu clux clam]
2006 - John Hegre & Maja S. K. Ratkje - Ballads [dekorder]
2006 - Maja Ratkje - Adventura Anatomica [semishigure]
2006 - Maja S. K. Ratkje - Stalker (lp) [important records]
2008 - Maja S. K. Ratkje - River Mouth Echoes [tzadik]

Maja S. K. Ratkje - Fra Websiden


2004 - Fe-Mail Featuring Lasse Marhaug - All Men Are Pigs
2004 - Fe-mail - Syklubb Fra Hælvete [important records]
2005 - Fe-Mail - live @ wooden octopus skull festival 2005.09.10 flac
2005 - Fe-mail - Voluptuous Vultures [psychform records]
2006 - Fe-mail - Blixter Toad [asphodel]
2006 - Fe-Mail & Carlos Giffoni - Northern Stains [important records]


1999 - Spunk - Det Eneste Jeg Vet Er At Det Ikke Er En Støvsuger
2001 - Spunk - Filtered Through Friends [rune grammofon]
2002 - Spunk - Den Øverste Toppen På En Blåmalt Flaggstang
2005 - Spunk - En Aldeles Forferdelig Sykdom [rune grammofon]


Doktor Kettu

Finland's Doktor Kettu is Petri Hagner, Jussi Lehtisalo, Tuomas Niskanen, Alpo Nummelin and Jouko Salenius. Jussi Lehtisalo is probably best known for being part of the tightly structured krautrock of Circle and the stoner doom of Pharoah Overlord. With his side-project, Doktor Kettu, we're given formless and improvised soundscapes made by three guitars, bass, and drums.

There really are some great attempts to capture the experience of a Doktor Kettu release: "True caveman rock, but under heavy sedation. Like a bunch of semi-comatose zombies letting their guitars feedback deep in a tunnel while the drummer sometimes wakes up, stunned, hitting the skins a few times and then succumbing to the world of the undead once again"; "a Finnish drug thing you wouldn't understand"; "imagine a cross between Circle and Thuja" or "imagine Hawkwind or Acid Mothers Temple locked in a cave with broken instruments"; "installments from some massive on-going jam still happening right now"; "slow, meandering, very stoned ambient psych jamming to the max" and quite possibly my favourite..."imagine if you had neighbors who lived below you in a WWII bunker and all they did all day was listen to certain Fushitsusha albums...this is what you might hear through the floor." Basically, Doktor Kettu sounds like a rock'n'roll band being thrown down a well in low gravity.

The Kettu project appears to have been born simply because five friends wanted to get together to enjoy themselves! No info, no publicity and no tours that I'm aware of. The first five cdrs were all released simultaneousy with no fanfare and very little information in editions of a 100 a piece and quickly disappeared. The sixth arrived quickly after in an edition of 50. The recently released cd appears to have been recorded quite some time earlier, so who knows if we will ever get any more fresh Kettu...I hope so!

Jussi himself has described Doktor Kettu as being an "apocalyptic drone-free-psychedelic-low-fi-massacre.....three guitars, bass and drums"

Go on! You know you want to.....

2003 - Doktor Kettu - Black Zenith [super metsä]
2003 - Doktor Kettu - High Revolution [super metsä]
2003 - Doktor Kettu - I Really Like Diamonds [super metsä]
2003 - Doktor Kettu - Kriegsphilosophie [super metsä]
2003 - Doktor Kettu - Yksi Miekka Yksi Kirves [super metsä]
2004 - Doktor Kettu - Gobmi Kalansikov [haamumaa]
2009 - Doktor Kettu - Soft Delirium [super metsä]


Overhang Party

Overhang Party were at the forefront of the highly influential Japanese psychedelic rock scene. The original line-up was Rinji Fukuoka (vocals, guitar), Koji Nishino (bass) and Iwao Yamazaki (drums). The line-up changed frequently with Rinji the only constant feature. The cast list is a long one but notably includes (at points)drummer Ikuro Takahashi who has played in Fushitsusha, High Rise, Kousokuya, LSD March and Maher Shalal Hash Baz amongst many others.

The band initially self-released the first LP in an edition of 200 before Rinji set up Pataphysique Records to release Overhang's output along with a wealth of other important works. The band's studio recorded material was limited but thankfully they made up for this by releasing a number of live slow burning psychedelic blow outs. 2003's "Out Takes..." was given away by the band at gigs at the time so I would imagine is pretty rare!

As usual with the Japanese underground, information is pretty hard to come by but there is a pretty good source here. The group folded in 2008 with Rinji going on to form the excellent Majutsu no Niwa. "High tension music results in a high voltage reaction," reckons Rinji Fukuoka and who am I to argue.

1993 - Overhang Party - Overhang Party lp [self-released]

1994 - Overhang Party - Overhang Party 2 [pataphysique records]

1995 - Overhang Party - Live 1994.8.22 At Showboat [pataphysique records]

1998 - Overhang Party - Overhang Party 4 [pataphysique records]

2000 - Overhang Party - Otherside Of (2xcd) [pataphysique records]

Otherside disc 1

Otherside disc 2

2002 - Overhang Party - Untitled

2003 - Overhang Party - Out Takes From 1996 To 2003 (cdr)

2006 - Overhang Party - Live Before And After 2004-2006 [there, musik atlach]

Live Before And After disc 1

Live Before And After disc 2