2 Songs, 1 Hour 19 Minutes


About Spunk

Spunk surfaced on the Norwegian music scene in 1999. This quartet of young female improvisers approach free improv with freshness, adding to their basic instrumentation of cello, trumpet, French horn, and vocals a lot of toys, small percussion, and electronics. By 2001, they were performing in Continental Europe and their second album came out in April 2002.

Spunk was formed in 1995 by four music students with very different backgrounds. Singer Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje, Lene Grenager, Kristin Andersen, and Hild Sofie Tafjord, when taken collectively, have touched on classical, jazz, rock, techno, and country music. They created Spunk in order to explore fields outside their own studies and music engagements and free improvisation was the chosen form from the start. The quartet first appeared in public on Norwegian national radio in March 1996 with its first concert in October of that year. Things went slow for the first two years as Ratkje and Tafjord were completing their music degrees. In 1998, Spunk went on tour for the first time, going as far as Copenhagen (Denmark). The girls also started a relationship with drummer Paal Nilssen-Love and bassist Ingebrigt Flaten, a free rock rhythm section that augmented them live on several occasions.

In February 1999, Det Eneste Jeg Vet, er at det Ikke er en Støvsuger ("The Only Thing I Know Is That It Isn't a Vacuum Cleaner") came out on Rune Grammofon, then a new Norwegian label that quickly established a following (the British magazine The Wire quickly hailed its productions). The album met great reviews and the group gave a few concerts, participated in intermedia events in art galleries, and developed performances for school children. The remix album Filtered Through Friends appeared in late 2001 with contributions by many big Norwegian electronica and noise artists. Concerts in Köln (Germany) and at the Taktlos Festival in Switzerland paved the way for the release of Øverste Toppen Pa en Blamalt Flaggstang in April 2002, a huge improvement over the first CD. ~ François Couture