Es gibt wenige Künstler, die solch eine verlässliche Konstante im Musikzirkus sind wie Motorpsycho. Kaum ein Jahr vergeht, ohne ein neues Lebenszeichen der Trondheimer Rockinstitution. Dabei schafft es die Band immer wieder, sich neu zu erfinden und zu definieren. Und das heisst 2016 "Here Be Monsters" und ist ein ebensolches! Die Band zeigt sich mal wieder von ihrer melancholischen und dramatischen Seite. Mehr Prog als Heavy-Rock, mehr Monster-Keyboards als Monsterriffs. Die Musik war ursprünglich eine Auftragsarbeit für das Technische Museum von Norwegen, gespielt von der XL Version von Motorpsycho, die sich mit dem Keyboard Player Ståle Storløkken (Elephant9, Bol, Supersilent, etc.) erweiterten. Das Projekt war organisch, und während die ursprüngliche Musik einen anderen Auftrag hatte, wuchs sie zu einem kompletten Album, welches dann in den Nidaros Studios in Trondheim in seiner vollen Schönheit eingespielt und noch weiter ergänzt wurde. Motorpsycho sind tief in die Abgründe hineingetaucht um sich dann wieder wie ein Phönix im neuen Glanz daraus zu erheben. Dazwischen begegneten sie sich selber - und das war nicht immer schön, aber so entstand durchaus sehr dramatisch gutes Material für einen neuen musikalischen Epos.
Wie Nietzsche sagte: "Wenn man lange genug in den Abgrund starrt, starrt dieser irgendwann zurück." - Nicht ohne Grund ist der Titel des Albums "Here Be Monsters".
Here be monsters started life as a commissioned work for the centennial jubilee of the Norwegian Technical Museum in November of 2014. The music was written for the expanded version of Motorpsycho that features everyone's favourite keyboardist Ståle Storløkken (Elephant9, Bol, Supersilent, etc.), and was partially developed with him in the months leading up to the concert. Performed just once, this music clearly had more life in it, and when Ståle, due to other commitments, had to pass on making an album out of it, it turned into a full-blown Motorpsycho project. Most of the basic tracks were recorded in Nidaros studios in Trondheim in February 2015, but more music was added to the original batch all year, until the album found its final shape in November when it was mixed. A long process, but ultimately a rewarding one as the long, stretched-out production period let the band really consider and evaluate all the musical minutiae even more thoroughly than usual. Musically the album has, perhaps due to its provenance, turned into a somewhat less rockist proposition than usual, but those who like their psych motorpsychodelic will most likely find much to like in this album. In addition to five of their own compositions, the band also found this the perfect occasion to record one of their favourite psych nuggets of old, and their take on H.P.Lovecraft’s version of Terry Callier’s ‘Spin Spin Spin’ fits in well with their own compositions, adding a new, slightly sinister vibe to the old folk tune and offsetting and complementing the grandiose sweep of their own songs perfectly. Make no mistake - this is cinematic psych to the max, and while neither a double album nor exactly a brand new musical tangent in the Psychoverse, the cinematic qualities of Motorpsychodelia have never been explored this thoroughly on vinyl. Co-produced, engineered and mixed by long time co-conspirator and fellow sonic explorer Thomas Henriksen, the album is also a new personal best for Motorpsycho in the hi-fi stakes. This is headphone music designed to tickle your aural pleasure centers. But not to worry - while it may not be about the big, dumb rawk this time around, it sure isn’t easy listening either! Where the museum version lyrically focused on history and time, this new, revised version looks at other aspects of life. It is perhaps not a jubilant celebration of existence as such, but it tries to put words together that in concert with the music hopefully might shed a little light on the human condition as seen from Trøndelag in the second decade of the second millennium by grown men in a juvenile profession. (Let confusion reign!) Where Lacuna/Sunrise perhaps looks at some of the lesser proud moments in a man’s life, and I.M.S. (inner mounting shame) mainly discusses the humiliation and distress that often rides in tandem with such lapses in judgement, Big Black Dog addresses the long dark night of the soul that the weeks and months of near total winter darkness often lays upon those who live in near arctic conditions. The inside often mirrors the outside, and those months do tend to get rather too dark for some of us… Motorpsycho realise that the map never is fully explored and that you venture into the unknown at your own peril, be it in your head or out there in the world. This album is both a recognition of the urges that drive us and a testimonial to their effect on our lives. It is Motorpsycho in effect taking a long look into the abyss, and as such might be termed exorcist music: going deep to drive the darkness out, yet all the while understanding and accepting that what you find is - while not always pretty - real and true and a part of us all.