Gold Soundz #4

Not a ton I can tell you about this 1999 noise/experimental/outer-limits-of-rock fanzine, except that it hailed from Norway’s “oil city” Stavanger, was put together by one Sindre Bjerga, and was about as no-frills as they came. Zero photographs nor drawings, outside of what was in the ads themselves – just typed interviews and reviews, all clinging to a late 1990s world of micro-labels and the “popularity”, such that it was, of wrecking-ball bands like Dead C, Harry Pussy and Shadow Ring. 

I really do have to applaud whatever anti-thought went into the cover art for this one. Inside, however, Gold Soundz #4 approaches its subjects with much more care and discernment. Bjerga’s big discovery this issue is Godspeed You! Black Emperor; actually it’s not 100% clear he’s just discovered them, but after seeing them in London and hearing their album <<*#/&#>> his fandom has at the very least been cranked up to new levels. This is a band whose music I have never heard. I’m aware I could rectify that within seconds, but as my favorite line in 2014 film When We’re Young stated, in reference to instantly looking something up on the internet, “Let’s just not know”. 

The interviews are with Pan Sonic and a US label/distributor Swill Radio, run by Scott Faust who was and perhaps still is part of Idea Fire Company. These are names that mostly exist on the periphery of things I know about, so it’s cool to see it all so maximally central to another person’s worldview, a Norwegian no less. Bjerga remains an experimental musician and has, at this writing, 174 (!) releases to his name. No seriously, check out his Discogs. Even Electric Frankenstein don’t have that many.

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