Norwegian singer-songwriter, producer and musician, John Eric Kaada celebrates his 42nd birthday today.
Of course Kaada is known to Mike Patton fans due to their two enchanting collaboration albums. Romances (2004) and Bacteria Cult (2016). However his career in making music is quite expansive - from film scores, to work with his band Cloroform.
His recording career began in 1998 with the Norwegian experimental jazz/rock trio Cloroform. So far the group have released eight albums. This is how their website describes their sound.
By tearing elements from every corner of the greatest music in the world, Cloroform has created a pretty special universe for themselves. An apocalyptic concoction of furious drums, damaging but sensitive bass lines, atom-splitting clavinet riffs and vocals that range from visceral growls to decibel-decimating screeches.In 2001 Kaada released his first solo album Thank You for Giving Me Your Valuable Time a strange journey into the avant-guarde with moments of show tune and pop brillance. Popmatters described the album as 'a highly confounding piece of work, one that’s capable of moving a person to tears one moment, and royally creeping a person out the next.' In 2003 Kaada and Mike Patton's relationship began as Ipecac Recordings reissued the album which would lead to their first collaboration Romances.
The singular joint effort came as the result of Mike Patton's stumbling upon the young Norwegian composer's music during a trip to Europe. Ipecac soon after released John Erik Kaada's 2003 debut, "Thank You For Giving Me Your Valuable Time." Billboard's Norwegian edition named the album one of the ten most important releases of the year. Also an active film composer in Scandinavia, Kaada has won numerous awards for his inventive scores. Magnet commented on Kaada and his unique work, "This Norwegian sound sculptor is a provocateur of moments ('50s doo wop, '60s girl groups) and sounds (F-hole hollow-body guitars, big band brass)..." CMJ said of his album, "This is what the Avalanches could've made if they looked beyond kitsch... Kaada erases the line between samples and live instruments; it's often impossible to tell which is which." Where Kaada's solo music has a calm and often light-hearted backdrop, Romances tended towards the eerie and dramatic with inspirations having come from classical masters like Mahler, Chopin, Brahms and Liszt.
2006 saw Kaada's third solo release via Ipecac, the wonderful Music for Moviebikers. A collection of arrangements set as soundtracks for imaginary films.
“This is music that is inspired by films, but I don't want to make a big issue out of this. It's not me who should tell the listeners what it is, in which category they should put it. Music that must be explained by the artist - this is absolutely not my cup of tea. Just look around what kind of music needs plenty of explanation. General rule - the more words, the more unpleasant the music. The music is there, as an offer. The listener can listen and decide. Not me. The lyrics are mostly just fantasy-language or non-verbal.” - Kaada 2006
"The album was a huge project involving 22 musicians and all kinds of adapted instruments. It was completely different compared to my previous albums where I was sitting in front of my computers and controlling everything myself. We recorded the strings and the melodic instruments in a mausoleum in Oslo and it was a very inspiring place to record in. The only problem was that it was very dark so I couldn't read any of my notes that I had written down." - Kaada 2006
2007 saw the release of Romances Live DVD, a live recording from the 2005 Roskilde Festival featuring a seven-piece ensemble.
The latest Kaada/Patton record Bacteria Cult was released in 2016 and exceeded all expectations. Eight wonderfully cinematic and diverse compositions. Sometimes unnerving and at others quite euphoric. 'Their music dwells in The Twilight Zone where spooky and seductive meet.' said Smells Like Infinite Sadness. Read more reviews HERE.
The most recent project Patton and Kaada have worked together on is the short film The Absence Of Eddy Table, directed by Rune Spaans. This led to a video for the song Red Rainbow, the video is steeped in mystery and a sense of adventure, capturing a curious place where dreams and nightmares collide.
A number of collaborators were involved in the making of the original short film, including writer and designer Dave Cooper and producer Eric Vogel of Tordenfilm. Kaada provided score music in several stages, inspired by the progress of the visuals. A lot of the music heard in the completed film can be traced back to Kaada’s initial ideas, which were refined and expanded upon in parallel with the film itself. Patton is Eddy Table and Norwegian actress Ingrid Bolsø Berdal is Snip. In addition to voicing the lead roles, Patton and Berdal each also contributed voices for a myriad of other (and otherworldly) characters for the film.
I went through various phases of playing piano in different styles as a kid. I played in all sorts of bands, and I even played organ in church. I took lessons in Jazz and improvisations, as well as classical piano even though becoming a concert pianist was an unrealistic dream. I knew that I would never live up to the standards of my classical piano heroes. It was when I started to combine the worlds of improvisation and more classical traditions that things started to fall into place. But I kind of found my place by improvising and toying around with themes from Chopin, Liszt, Mozart and the rest of the gang. It probably didn’t sound like much in the start, but it was inspiring to do something that few others were doing. Tonalities from the classical repertoire can still be heard in most of my compositions. I wouldn't know how to describe my own voice, or sound; I leave that to others. We all have to learn the basics and the techniques, but it's about how you do it in your own way that's interesting. It's about emotionally reaching a point where you, with confidence, translate some of your selves through your music.How Romance Came To Be: An Interview With Mike Patton and John Kaada
“I’m influenced by lots of stuff. TV, musical equipment. To me, there’s no limits or borders when it comes to art. I’ve never thought about what kind of music I’m making when I’m making it.”
kaada.me | Kaada Website
cloroform.com | Cloroform Website