Exposé Online banner

Kong Klang — Kong Klang
(Apollon Records APR009, 1999/2018, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-09-25

Kong Klang Cover art

A melodic rock song featuring both slide guitar and harpsichord… Who would do such a thing? Norwegian songwriter Lasse Myrvold and his cohorts in Kong Klang would. And it works. This kind of inventiveness is the norm on this excellent album that was originally released in 1999. The story behind its reissue is a sad one, however. Myrvold was a well-known figure in Norwegian pop in the 80s, leading such New Wave bands as The Aller Værste, Stilleben, Göbbels A-Go-Go, and The Beste. By the end of the 80s, he decided to take a break from the music business, then put Kong Klang together a few years later. They finally released this album in 1999, but it appears to have generated little attention at the time. Then Myrvold was diagnosed with cancer, and his 2006 death prompted fellow Norwegian musicians to produce a tribute album covering his songs. Over the years, the Kong Klang record attained a kind of cult status, prompting this new release, which contains a number of bonus tracks that were recorded in the same sessions but not included on the original album. For readers outside of Norway, I would give musical comparisons to respected songwriters like Paul Kelly, Elvis Costello, and Neil Finn, though Kong Klang exhibits more stylistic variety on a single album than any of them ever has. In this respect I’m reminded of Ramona Falls — not exactly a widely known reference, I’ll admit. As for the individual songs, I don’t know where to start. Although I understand none of the lyrics, between the great melodies and Myrvold’s emotive singing and the clever arrangements, every song is a winner. And the bonus tracks are excellent as well — if Myrvold had lived (and a label like Apollon had existed to take interest) this band could have easily continued to produce great albums. But the past has passed, and this is what we’ve got: 75 minutes of wonderful music and speculation about what might have been.


Filed under: Reissues, 2018 releases, 1999 recordings

Related artist(s): Kong Klang

Latest news

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ring of Myth - Unbound – First impressions are generally correct. This could be a likable excursion down a well trod path, however, I found it pretty much impossible to listen to this CD all the way through. This LA band is a...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues