The slowest Christmas album of all time?
Is this really a Christmas album? The Oddgeir Berg Trio are still playing the same familiar melodies that have accompanied us throughout the years. But this time, they're performing them with a dedicated, trance-inducing slowness wilfully out of tune with the typical cheeriness of Christmas eve. This may not be the weirdest Christmas album ever recorded – but it most certainly ranks among the most radical ones.
You'll find renditions of popular favourites like “Silent Night”,”In Dulce Jubilo” and “It came upon the midnight clear” here. But the group are performing them with such passionate reticence that they at times sound like bands like Bohren & Der Club of Gore – Christmas does seem to be a bit darker in Norway. The production matches these otherworldly interpretations: Again, the trio withdrew into Oddgeir Berg's very own Bonker Studio in Oslo to create the sonic twilight zone between night and day that they've by now established as their trademark.
Not all is doom and gloom, however: On several occasions, rays of light are breaking through the clouds, brightly illuminating these beautiful minor-mode-landscapes. And it will only take a cursory look at the saccharine cover motive and the camp band picture inside to understand that the band aren't out to ruin the fun. In fact, isn't this what the festive season should actually be about: Silence, inwardness, slowing things down?
The best thing about it: As the title indicates, you don't have to wait until Christmas eve to enjoy this music. Christmas came early is like a little present you give yourself – no matter the season or occasion