on 2 July 2014
After listening to Ulver's outstanding Childhood's End I got curious about the original versions of the songs, so I searched for them on YouTube and compiled this playlist, featuring all 16 tracks on Childhood's End, in the same order, but in their original glory.
It isn't quite as cohesive as Ulver's interpretation—not that surprising, given that the tracks are by 16 different artists and were spread over a fairly large period from 1966 to 1973—but it does make for a rather good listen and has opened up new areas of musical exploration for me.
Ulver has, of course, given all the songs a lick of Ulver paint, resulting in darker, more haunting versions compared to the originals. What impressed me most about Childhood's End is how Ulver has managed to pull all these songs together and make them sound as if they were written by a single artist, intended to be part of a single release, while at the same time respecting the originals, leaving them intact and maintaining their individual character.
on 18 June 2012
As the cover signals with it's famous pic of brutality from the Vietnam war we are not into some love, peace and understanding party. Although all the songs are classics from the golden 60s and bands likes of: The Pretty Things, Byrds, Beau Brummels, Chocolate Watch Band.
Ulver - who originally was part of the (in)famous Norwegian black metal scene later drifted into much more experimental relams even setting music to the works of Wiliam Blake - definitely puts a dark spin to all the tracks. Underlining the black side of psychedelia, even making Jefferson Airplane's gorgous loveballad "Today" sound as if it was sung by a decadent vampire.
But the musicianship and the production is brilliant, Kristoffer 'Gram' Rygg a truly haunting vocalist. And the whole project has a vibrant charm and fascination. Not exactly retro but more 60s psychedelia seen through the lense of gothic darkness.