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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
A Taste of Ra
Morning of My Life
Häpna

Rating: 8/10 ?


October 22, 2007
Nicolai Dunger was first discovered whilst playing guitar and singing on his balcony in the town of Piteå, in northern Sweden, and for a time worked as a gardener. Or at least that's how the story goes. Dunger's emergence is, however, not as important as the fact that he did indeed emerge, because had he not the music world would certainly be a more boring place.

After releasing 11 EPs and albums under his own name and working extensively with Soundtrack of Our Lives, Dunger has returned under his A Taste of Ra moniker, the flag he uses when the winds of experimentation get too strong for his own. Morning of My Life is the third installation in Dunger's A Taste of Ra experiment. While the first two releases, blandly titled A Taste of Ra and A Taste of Ra II, were both pure experiments in vocals and instrumentation, Morning of My Life finds Dunger steering his Ra in a slightly different direction.

As the final part of a trilogy, Morning of My Life takes the quest for experimentation one step further, here applying it to one long song. The song is broken up in six seamless movements, and in every movement Dunger dives deep into his audio chemistry set, focusing heavily on the vocal side and delivering instrumental arrangements that are more refined than the prior ones. The album is massive, but not monolithic - quests into jazz, indie-pop, and the ever so popular drone genre provide a fractured depth, making the release a very interesting one.

The musical qualities of this album are very good, perhaps a notch above the other two, but it has an edge to it that takes some getting used to. A Taste of Ra is not about instant gratification, and one should set aside time for at least five full listens before coming to terms with Morning of My Life, but once connected with that special something hidden deep beneath all the layers of jazz, experimentation and noise, you will certainly find for yourself what made Dunger something more than just a balcony musician. The very intimate and personal feel, and his great little melodies, laying there fluttering in and out, just to keep you interested in this huge block of experimentation, are what distinguish Dunger's work.

Morning of My Life could easily serve as the score to a film, and approaching it as such might be an easier to get a grip on it. One long listen that evokes tons of feelings and images, as the case is with a lot of mood music Morning of My Life is at first a hard listen. Give it a try, though, and you won't regret it; it'll leave you with an insane curiosity as to what Nicolai Dunger will come up with next, since this is supposedly his last A Taste of Ra release.

Reviewed by Daniel Svanberg
A contributing writer for LAS, Daniel Svanberg now lives in Boston, far far away from Sweden, where he once lived, although the weather is the same.

See other reviews by Daniel Svanberg

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