Let’s start with a short quiz. Megetmeget is:
a. The sound a Scandinavian Frog makes
b. A Techno-Jazz duo from Norway and Denmark
c. All of the above
d. None of the above
e. Some of the above.
And the answer is, of course, (f). No, actually it’s (b).
Megetmeget is a techno-jazz duo formed by Mathiesen Kalle, a percussionist from Denmark, and Lars Andreas Haug, a tuba player from Norway. Let me just repeat that. Megetmeget is composed of a Danish percussionist and a Norwegian tuba player. Want to hazard a guess as to who wrote all the compositions on the album? Good guess. Kalle, the Danish percussionist, who else?
Some people think, unfortunately, think that Scandinavian music started and ended with ABBA, but the reality is that the region has always been a hotbed for innovative, experimental music, both jazz and popular. In a former life, I worked for a Swedish company and traveled to Sweden and Norway on business. The best way to describe the music played on the radio is eclectic. There was no problem with following an Outkast number with an updated version of a Scandinavian folk song, no problem at all.
Megetmeget’s music is produced by the wonders of modern computer-aided recording and mixing to highlight the both member’s deft playing of their instruments. They list among their influences Frank Zappa and there was much in this effort that reminded me of Zappa’s Jazz from Hell. Computer-aided composition and production I realize is not everyone’s cup of tea, but if it is yours, I think you’ll find Megetmeget will be worth a listen.
I had not previously thought of the tuba as a jazz instrument, but Haug’s playing was able to dispel that illusion. Trust me, I never thought of a university marching band any time through the entire CD. A highlight for me were "The Weather Forecast," which started with a sampling of what I would call "oom-pah" music as heard in a German Biergarten, much more akin to what one thinks of for a tuba, and segues into a duet between tuba and drums.
The prime intent of techno music is not to have you humming the tune, if you can find it, when the number is over, but to create an artistic impression. Kalle’s compositions manage to create unique artistic tones the album aided by fine production values displayed throughout. So if you enjoy computer composition, you might want to buy a bottle of aquavit, pour yourself a glass and give this worthy effort a serious listen.