BS074 Flunk: Morning Star

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Design/artwork by Ulf Nygaard

Flunk:
Morning Star

Format: CD
Label: Beatservice Records
Catalogue number: BS074CD
Release date: 10. may 2004
Export date: 21. jun 2004

press info // reviews
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01

Morning Star

02

On My Balcony

03

Spring To Kingdom Come

04

Six Seven Times

05

All Day And All Of The Night

06

I've Been Waiting All My Life To Leave You (Country Song)

07

Blind My Mind

08

Everything Is Ending Here

09

Kemikal Girl


Press info

Flunk sitt debutalbum "For Sleepyheads Only" er en av de største suksess-utgivelsene på Beatservice Records. Godt hjulpet av en downbeat coverversjon av New Order-låten "Blue Monday", fikk Flunk og albumet mye oppmerksomhet rundt om i verden. Både ”Blue Monday” og andre spor er lisensiert til rundt 20 samle-CD-er verden over, og hele albumet har blitt lisensiert til USA, Hellas og Russland. Hellas har i tillegg lisensiert ut remix-albumet som en eksklusiv dobbelt-CD.

Etter en eventyrlig (og velfortjent) suksess med folk&røvere i 2003, hyret Ulf Nygaard seg inn på Hotel de Roubaix i Paris utpå høsten sammen med vokalist Anja Øyen Vister ("Urørt"-favoritt på NRK Petre), gitarist Jo Bakke og assosiert medlem, live-trommis Erik Ruud. Rammeverket for albumet ble produsert og innspilt en hektisk uke i Paris, og bearbeidet videre i studio i Oslo.

"Folk electronica" er en betegnelse amerikansk presse har brukt på Flunk, og på "Morning Star" er dette tatt enda lengre ut. Det er mer rendyrket indie-pop og mindre elektronika-preg, selv om maskinene er diskret med i bakgrunnen. En country-låt har til og med sneket seg med! Pop-aspektet understrekes ytterligere ved at Anja bidrar med sin særpregede vokal på alle sporene.

Også denne gangen drister de seg med en cover-versjon, med The Kinks' "All Day and All Of The Night" som som står for det mest rytmiske bidraget på albumet. Men det inneholder også et knippe særdeles sterke egenkomponerte låter, både tittelsporet "Morning Star", "On My Balcony" (første singel) og "Blind My Mind" viser bandkollektivets ubestridte låtskriver-talenter. Flunk har begått intet mindre enn en pop-perle!

Flunk's debut album “For Sleepyheads Only” is one of the greatest successes so far on Beatservice Records. Spearheaded by a critically acclaimed downbeat version of New Order's “Blue Monday”, the album has received well deserved recognition around the world. Both “Blue Monday” and other tracks have been featured on a more than 20 compilations around the globe, and the full album has been licensed to the US, Greece and Russia.

Last autumn Flunk - producer/vocalist Ulf Nygaard, singer Anja Øyen Vister, guitarist Jo Bakke and associated member, drummer Erik Ruud - booked in at the Hotel de Roubaix in Paris. The framework for the album was recorded during a busy week in the Paris hotel room (!), before being worked out and finished in their Oslo studio early this spring.

”Folk electronica” has been used by a.o. American press to describe Flunk, and on “Morning Star” they have evolved this further. The new album is pure indie pop, less electronica - all tracks built around Jo's trademark guitar sound and the voice of Anja Øyen Vister. They even deliver a country song!

A cover song is included also this time: The Kinks' “All Day and All Of The Night”, performed as a duet by Anja and Ulf. The cover is the most up-tempo track on the album, capturing the energy of the original Kinks' classic in Flunk's slightly odd way. But most of all “Morning Star” includes very strong original material. Both the title track “Morning Star”, the first single “On My Balcony” and “Blind My Mind” showcases the songwriting talents of Flunk. The album “Morning Star” is an instantly tuneful pop injection.


Design/artwork by Ulf Nygaard

Flunk:
On My Balcony (2022 remaster)

Format: Digital Single
Label: Beatservice Records
Catalogue number: BS074X-1
Release date: 26. aug 2022

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01

On My Balcony (2022 remaster)


Press info

This is an out of the ordinary uptempo (in Flunk world) and catchy pop song. So much that Flunk very rarely play it in their live set.

It's basically a straight forward, very honest little song about sitting on the balcony, in the early summer sunshine, meditating on how perfect things could be if they only were... perfect. Written in the spirit of The Undertones' 'Here Comes the Summer'.


Design/artwork by Ulf Nygaard

Flunk:
Blind My Mind (2022 remaster)

Format: Digital single
Label: Beatservice Records
Catalogue number: BS074X-2
Release date: 14. oct 2022

press info

Download:
Bandcamp // Juno

Stream:
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01

Blind My Mind (2022 remaster)


Press info

One of Flunk's finest moments, both according to the fans and to the band. Not a regular in their live set, for some strange reason. It is also an example of how much of the first albums were made, Anja jamming tune and 'dummy' words, Ulf making sense of it. Contains a Flunk favourite phrase – a classic scenario of taking your love to the top of Mont Blanc to prove your love couldn't get higher.


Design/artwork by Ulf Nygaard

Flunk:
Morning Star Expanded

Format: LP/CD/Digital
Label: Beatservice Records
Catalogue number: BS074X
Release date: 25. nov 2022

press info

Download:
Bandcamp // Juno

Stream:
Spotify // Apple Music // Tidal // YouTube Music // Deezer

01

Play (2022 remaster)

02

Morning Star (2022 remaster)

03

On My Balcony (2022 remaster)

04

Spring To Kingdom Come (2022 remaster)

05

Six Seven Times (2022 remaster)

06

All Day And All Of The Night (2022 remaster)

07

I've Been Waiting All My Life To Leave You (Country Song) (2022 remaster)

08

Blind My Mind (2022 remaster)

09

Everything Is Ending Here (2022 remaster)

10

Kemikal Girl (2022 remaster)

11

Skysong (2022 remaster)

12

True Faith (live in studio) (2022 remaster)

13

Probably (2022 remaster)

14

All My Dreams On Hold (2022 remaster)


Press info

In the autumn of 2003, Flunk - then consisting of producer/vocalist Ulf Nygaard, singer Anja Øyen Vister, guitarist Jo Bakke and drummer Erik Ruud - booked in at the Hotel de Roubaix in Paris. The framework for their second album "Morning Star" was recorded during a busy week in the Paris hotel room, before being worked out and finished in their Oslo studio early 2004.

The album was licensed to Kriztal Recordings in the USA the following year, and their version of the album included five tracks not on the original Beatservice Records versions, and omitting the Kinks cover "All Day and All Of The Night".

On this expanded edition of the album, all of the US bonus tracks are included to the original Beatservice Records tracklisting, making it a 14 track album.

Two cover song are included: The Kinks' "All Day and All Of The Night", performed as a duet by Anja and Ulf. The cover is the most up-tempo track on the album, capturing the energy of the original Kinks' classic in Flunk's slightly odd way. There is also an acoustic live-in-studio version of New Order's "True Faith". But most of all "Morning Star" includes very strong original material. Both the title track "Morning Star", and the singles "On My Balcony" and "Blind My Mind" showcases the songwriting talents of Flunk.

The track "Play" didn't make it on the original release of the album. But the band did a total makeover of it for the US release, and the track ended up as the feature song in an episode of the show "The O.C.", and on the fourth "The O.C." compilation album.

Other tracks included from the US version of "Morning Star" are the beautiful "Probably" (originally recorded for the debut album "For Sleepyheads Only"), the New Order classic, "True Faith" (a different version than the b-side to "On My Balcony"), the poppy "Skysong" and the lush "All My Dreams On Hold".

"Folk electronica" has been used by a.o. american press to describe Flunk, and on the "Morning Star" album, they have evolved this further. The album is pure indie pop, less electronica - all tracks built around Jo's trademark guitar sound and the voice of Anja Øyen Vister.

"Morning Star" is an instantly tuneful pop injection, now further expanded and with a new superb sounding 2022 24-bit re-master.


Flunk: Morning Star

Anmeldelser [reviews ]


BT
Ulph & co leker seg i strandkanten

Det er to �r siden Flunk sist ble skamrost av norsk og internasjonal presse. Prosjektet til Ulph (fra Folk & R�vere) har dukket opp p� et tjuetalls samleplater, og er fremdeles en chillout-klassiker for mange. Og n� er Ulph tilbake, lettet for mye av elektronikaen, men med s�t pop, gitarer og trommis i bagasjen. For ikke � snakke om vokalist Anja �yen Vister, som n� synger p� alle l�tene. "Morning Star" l�ter bedre enn "For Sleepyheads Only". Snevet av indiepop minsker s�vnbehovet n�r man lytter p� platen. Det er faktisk mest p� Kinks-coveren "All Day and All Of The Night" de n�rmer seg rytmene fra debuten. Stort sett best�r albumet av s�te, b�lgeskvulpende aff�rer som renner behagelig inn det ene �ret og ut av det andre. Ulph har nok en gang skapt et album som passer perfekt for dekadente strandfester, men til h�sten vil nok albumet st�ve ned for godt.
(4/6) Walter N. Wehus

Aftenposten/Oslopuls
Smakfull oppf�lger fra Flunk
Debutplaten "For Sleepyheads Only", som kom ut i 2002, var i en klasse for seg, noe oppf�lgeren bekrefter. Flunk overbeviser allikevel med et smakfullt album nummer to. Ulf Nygaard & co. har tilegnet seg et noe mer akustisk preg siden sist, som s� absolutt kler l�tmaterialet de her serverer. Tittelsporet, "Morning Star", er en n�rmest perfekt �pning hvor Anja �yen Visters distinkte stemme flyter p� en seng av dr�mmende downtempo dub beats og kj�lende gitarspill som fortsetter like taktfast over i singelsporet "On My Balcony". Denne blir forh�pentlig � h�re mye p� radio i tiden som kommer, for d�sigere hygge enn dette skal du lete lenge etter! Dette gjelder ogs� for "Blind My Mind", "Everything Is Ending Here" og "Kemikal Girl", som har en formildende effekt p� sine omgivelser. Noe som trekker platen litt ned er manglende gnist og innlevelse p� et par av l�tene, men dette glemmes raskt i selskap med de andre perlene.
(4/6) Ariane S. Nilsen

KK
Mandag kommer elektronikagjengen Flunk med albumet "Morning Star", en lettnynnet samling av sommerl�ter. Hovedmannen er Ulph, i sin tid ansvarlig for mer kjente Folk & R�vere. Mikrofonen l�ner han som alltid til en kvinne, denne gangen Anja �yen Vister. Opptempol�ten "All Day And All Of The Night", en fiffig cover fra The Kinks, t�ler mye spilletid. Det samme gj�r nydelige "On My Balcony" og "Six Seven Times". "Morning Star" er en typisk caf�plate - en du kan h�re p� uten � h�re. Det er ogs� ankepunktet. De aller fleste l�tene har samme tempo, samme slentrende vokal og noen er faretruende like melodimessig. Det gj�r Flunks "Morning Star" til en nydelig sommerplate som kan dure og g� nettene gjennom. Men om den har lenger holdbarhet enn det, er usikkert.
(4/5) H�kon H�ydal

Dagsavisen
Sval bris fra Flunk
Ulf Nyg�rd er en sommerens mann. Med bandprosjektet Folk & R�vere definerte han Gr�nerl�kkas slakke sommerpop, med Flunk gj�r han det igjen, p� en litt annen m�te, og denne gangen sammen med Jo Bakke (Happy Campers) og vokalist Anja �yen Vister (bildet)."Morning Star" er Flunks andre plate, distansert som en sval morgenbris, men ogs� inkluderende som en latte p� kj�kkenbenken en morgen da sola skinner og hagen er gr�nn. Flunk er rendyrket popmusikk, men med innslag av elektronika, av jazz og av andre urbane stilretninger � rytmisk musikk for folk med lav puls og med �re for lette formiddagstoner som ogs� kan brukes i sene midnattstimer. Det er sm�pent og fl�rtende, med vokalist Anja �yen Vister som prosjektets fremste stemmesanker. Hennes vokal, et sted mellom Bj�rk og Beady Bell, er fascinerende og passer godt til konseptet, som ogs� har ett og annet Flash And The Pan-skrudd vokalspor av Nyg�rd selv. Tittelkuttet, samt"My Balcony", der teksten typisk nok handler om � sitte p� en balkong og tenke p�"deg", er sm� perler. Men altfor mange av de andre l�tene blir for svale, og d�sigheten truer i de strekkene det blir for stille mellom kastene. 
(4/6) Mode Steinkjer

Halden Arbeiderblad
"Morning Star" er et flunkende nytt album med Flunk. Bandet leverer noe av det beste og mest behagelige blant norske album hittil i 2004. Stilen er sval, melodi�s og allmenn electronica. Eller "folk electronica" som amerikansk presse har brukt p� Flunk, et band som tidligere har kommet med albumet "For Sleepyheads Only". Den nye skiva �pnes med "Morning Star". �rets norske og hittil beste innsmygende l�t; den glir b�de inn og over deg, og hvor Anja �yen Vister (kjent fra Ur�rt p� Petre) med sin nesten hviskesyngende stemme, gir deg avslappende pleie. Ja - mange l�ter er direkte hitfengende, og den aller nydeligste i s� m�te er "Six Seven Times", den er b�de mild, snill og markerende. Funk og dans bys det opp til i "All Day And All Of The Night", den store hitl�ten fra 1964 som med moderne Flunk likevel aldri kommer opp mot originalen til The Kinks. Men det er jo ogs� noe som er umulig � f� til! Den ultimate, nye sommerl�ten til Flunk er "Everything Is Ending Here"; en d�sig sak med bra gitarsolo og som er fylt av herlig steming. Joda, � dra til et hotell i Paris som Ulf Nygaard (Folk & R�vere) og hans medspillere og Anja gjorde i h�st, for � lage grunnarbeidet, har gitt et bra resultat. Flunk er elektronica som n� har satt det melodi�se og stemmen til Anja i fokus, framfor maskinene. Det har blitt en prioritering som b�r tiltale sv�rt mange.
(5/6) Thorkil H Lindskog

Exact
Ulf Nygaard beveger seg lenger og lenger vekk fra sitt opprinnelige musialske hjem med Flunk. P� det andre albumet under dette navnet har han sluppet livetrommer og gitar helt innp� seg. Elektronika-feelingen og t�rr-rappinga hans er borte, til og med han selv har begynt � synge med vocoder istedet for � snakke t�rt. Anja �yen Vister synger p� albumet, og hun gj�re det meget f�lsomt og fint. Hun alene skaper halve stemningen og b�rer l�tene godt. Dette er et stemningsalbum uten den type hitl�ter som vi forbinder med Ulf fra f�r. Jo Bakke gj�r en god gitarfigur og s�rger for det mer rocka preget, med "All Day And All Of The Night" og "Blind My Mind" som h�ydepunkter. For en gangs skyld kan det hende at det blir moro � se Ulf p� scenen igjen.
(4/6) JN
 

Reviews

InTheMix
Oslo, Norway-based downtempo trio Flunk (aka producer / vocalist Ulf Nygaard, guitarist Jo Bakke and lead vocalist Anja Oyen Vister) first turned heads with their acoustic reworking of New Order�s seminal �Blue Monday�, which found its way onto numerous UK chill-out radio shows including Nick Luscombe�s �Blue Room�, leading the way for their 2001 debut album �For Sleepyheads Only.� Recorded during a hectic week-long schedule in a room of Paris� Hotel del Roubaix before being polished up in their Oslo home studio, �For Sleepyheads Only� proved to be one of Beatservice�s biggest successes to date, with �Blue Monday� as well as other album tracks being featured on a large number of compilations right across the world.

Three years on, their follow-up album �Morning Star� shows Flunk following the same creative process used during the recording of this previous album, the trio enlisting the aid of drummer Erik Ruud and returning to the Hotel del Roubaix to sketch out the structures of these new songs. Opening title track �Morning Star� outlines Flunk�s acoustic-led sonic approach, with Vister�s angelically wistful vocal (�You are my morning star�) tracing its way over dubbed-out live drums and Bakke�s fluid guitar strokes, which shift effortlessly between laidback and groovy and vaguely sinister (further bringing out the obsessive torchsong qualities of Vister�s lyric), while first single �On My Balcony� rides an easy melodic guitar backing and some Moogy analog keyboards to create an immediately accessible yet well-crafted radio single that would sit well next to the likes of Dido and Zero 7.

�Spring To Kingdom Come� drops the pace back down, with Bakke�s gently plucked guitar trailing its way over downtempo programmed beats, Vister�s voice twisting and turning through an impressive range that calls to mind Mum�s lead vocalist, before Nygaard�s gravelly spoken-sung vocal drops in amongst the languid dubbed-out beats (�I�m waiting for sun to come to my kingdom�), leading into �Six Seven Times� clicking drum-machine beats and vague ragga-skank, wafting synth pads tracing their way around Vister�s teasing chanteuse vocal and Bakke�s lover�s rock-tinged guitar (�It�s typical of you / looking like you do�). Like previous album �For Sleepyheads Only�, Flunk have included a cover version amongst the tracklisting here, this time a groovy reworking of The Kinks� �All Day And All Of The Night� that mashs up a sampled radio intro before Bakke�s sinuous wah-guitar line slinks in around electro-tinged beats, Ulf Nygaard�s lazy tones trading verses with Vister�s angelic ice-queen temptress vocals in one of this album�s most upbeat moments.

�I�ve Been Waiting All Of My Life To Leave You� sounds as upbeat as its title suggests, with countrified slide guitar riffs tracing their way around Vister�s echo-laden vocal in a manner that calls to mind slowcore US band Mazzy Star�s outings with vocalist Hope Sandoval, while �Blind My Mind� offers another of this album�s standout moments and a perfect candidate for a future single, with slow-burning strings powering their way alongside Vister�s vocal, strummed guitar and military-sounding drums in a way that curiously recalls U2 circa �All That You Can�t Leave Behind.� �Everything Is Ending Here� places Vister�s vocals through a Portishead-style scratchy filter and places them over beatbox drum-machine beats and warm keyboard tones, live bass and funk-inflected guitar tracing a path around the downtempo hiphop-meets-lounge backing, before �Kemikal Girl� closes this album on a strummed acoustic note, Bakke�s untreated guitar providing a bed for Vister�s swooning melancholy vocal (�finding my way through the rain / all of my thoughts go insane�) as it slowly echoes away.

�Morning Star� is an excellent new album from Flunk that�s a more than worthy follow-up to the well-received �For Sleepyheads Only�; at nine tracks and 35 minutes in length, it�s also a well-crafted yet petite offering that omits any sense of filler or flab - there�s simply not a weak moment amongst the tracks included here. Most notably, it�s Bakke�s guitar that is as much a star of the show here as Vister�s distinctive vocal presence, and much of this album�s compelling sense of slow-burning atmosphere is down to his deft contributions, knowing exactly how to bring out and counterpoint her performance, whilst avoiding �overplaying� at all times - Bakke does more with three notes than most guitarists do with five. Perfect comedown listening for when you�re feeling fragile - for my money, �Morning Star� has more heart than Zero 7 and Air�s last efforts combined.Recommended.
Chris Downton

CD-Kritik.de
Luftige Balladen
Anja �yen Vister ("Anji"), Jo Bakke und Ulf Nygaard sind bekennende New Order-Fans. Ihre erste Single war eine Downbeat-Version von "Blue Monday" und verschaffte den drei jungen Norwegern gleich internationales Geh�r.
Mit dem darauf folgenden Album-Deb�t "For sleepyheads only" konnte das Trio seinen Ruf festigen: akustische Elemente, sph�rische Arrangements und die optimistisch verspielte Stimme von Anja �yen Vister kreierten einen intelligenten Popsound jenseits von Beliebig- und Oberfl�chlichkeit.
Ihren herrlich entspannten und positiven Sound setzten Flunk auf ihrem zweiten Album "Morning star" fort. Wie eine Mischung aus den Cardigans und der Isl�nderin Emiliana Torrini klingen ihre luftigen Balladen. Wie diesen nordischen Kolleginnen gelingt es auch Anja �yen Vister fast spielend, den betont schlichten und klaren Strukturen der Songs ein ungeahntes Ma� an Gef�hl und Tiefe einzufl��en. Erg�nzt um das vorsichtige Zusammenwirken akustischer und elektronischer Elemente und Dauergast Erik Ruud (Drums) entwickeln Flunk ein einheitliches Klangkonzept, das auf "Morning star" nochmals ausgereifter wirkt als auf dem Deb�t-Album. Aufgenommen wurde die CD �brigens in einem Zimmer im Hotel de Roubaix in Paris, und m�glicherweise ist es die Enge des Hotelzimmers, die der dichten Atmosph�re der Songs so gut getan hat.
Beide CDs fanden dank der positiven Aufnahme in Flunks norwegischer Heimt schnell den Weg auf den internationalen Markt. Ihr engagiertes Label "Beatservice" unterst�tzte die Band nach Kr�ften und sorgte daf�r, dass "Morning star" sogar in den USA ver�ffentlicht werden konnte. Dort, wo man versucht, Flunks Musik als "Electro Folk" zu klassifizieren, erreichte das Album die Top 40 der i-Tunes-Download-Charts, wie Beatservice stolz vermeldete.
Auf einige zus�tzliche Songs, die auf der US-Version von "Morning star" enthalten waren, mussten die europ�ischen Fans bislang verzichten. Flunk hatten f�r das US-Release f�nf weitere Songs aufgenommen und dar�ber hinaus befreundete Kollegen um Remixe bereits bekannter Titel gebeten. Das macht Sinn, denn mit seinen 35 Minuten Spielzeit ist "Morning star" ebenso kurz wie kurzweilig.
W�hrend die Remix-Versionen von Kollegen wie Slowpho und Athome Project und Elektrofant den Songs neue und sehr verschiedene Facetten abgewinnen, liefern die Extratitel, die jetzt unter dem Titel "Play America" erscheinen, die passende Erg�nzung zu "Morning star". Mit dem Titelsong "Play" hoffen Flunk an den gro�en Erfolg ihrer ersten Single "Blue monday" ankn�pfen zu k�nnen, und es gibt keinen Anlass, diese Hoffnung zu tr�ben. Denn inzwischen ist der Sound aus luftigem Gesang, verspielten Gitarren und relaxten Beats zu einem Markenzeichen geworden, der Flunk Unverwechselbarkeit garantiert.
Und zum Markenzeichen geh�rt auch ein weiteres New Order-Cover: "True faith". Es steht zu vermuten, dass New Order inzwischen auch Flunk-Fans geworden sind.
Michael Frost

 


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