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WHEN

RIO/Avant-Prog • Norway


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When biography
A Norwegian rock landmark WHEN got started in 1983, as a one-man project (at first named Hospital Blimp, changed into WHEN later) formed by Lars PEDERSEN who had played in a couple of punk / new-wave bands like Holy Toy around 1990.

WHEN's debut album "Drowning But Learning" has been released in 1987, whilst their first turning point came in late 1980s due to a fateful encounter with a RIO vanguard Chris CUTLER. Their third album "Black, White & Grey" was released in 1990 with huge collaboration from Chris via his label ReR Megacorp. Lars and his fellows have got devoted to the RIO / Avant world at a burst.

Another drastic change was thrown down to WHEN as their seventh album "Psychedelic Wunderbaum" released in 1999 via Jester Records founded by Kristoffer Garm Rygg of ULVER. This album, just like the title, could be dreanched in psychedelic / garage / experimental rock structure.

In 2001, Lars recruited Nils Arne ØVERGAARD and Øyvind Borgemoen LYSE for strengthening their formation and the trio released a single "Sunshine Superhead" in the same year and "Pearl-Harvest" in 2003, followed by "Whenever" (2004), where WHEN had returned to Lars' one-man combo.

WHEN / Lars has been in full activity, launching his newest album "Misshimmisshimmisshim" in 2012 via Jester Records as well.

When official website

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WHEN shows & tickets


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WHEN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

WHEN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 2 ratings
Drowning But Learning
1987
4.86 | 3 ratings
Death In The Blue Lake
1988
3.95 | 2 ratings
Black, White & Grey
1991
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Black Death
1992
4.00 | 1 ratings
Prefab Wreckage
1994
3.50 | 2 ratings
Gynt
1997
4.00 | 1 ratings
Psychedelic Wunderbaum
1998
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Lobster Boys
2001
3.00 | 1 ratings
Pearl-Harvest
2003
3.00 | 1 ratings
Whenever
2004
3.00 | 2 ratings
Trippy Happy
2007
2.00 | 1 ratings
You Are Silent
2008
3.00 | 1 ratings
Homage Series Vol. 1 : Sun Ra
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
Misshimmisshimmisshim
2012

WHEN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

WHEN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

WHEN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
WriterCakeBox - The Unblessed World Of When (1983 - 1998)
1999

WHEN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

WHEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Death In The Blue Lake by WHEN album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.86 | 3 ratings

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Death In The Blue Lake
When RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Moderator / Psych Team

5 stars What a superb music terrorist Lars PEDERSEN was.

His second album "Death In The Blue Lake" under the moniker of WHEN could open my eyes again for one of surrealistic "avantgarde rock" world. The titled track on Side A is kinda killer one ... The extreme horrible opening squeezes synthesizer-based windwood-y negative drone into our minds, soon followed by a plaintive orchestrated sound forest. Weird shouts, fuzzy sound effects, frozen wind blowing, and so on. Yes all sounds / noises constructed in Lars' instruments with Lars' strong intention would seem to be a dramatic theatre on a vinyl. Like a lady shouting on the sleeve, every sound seasoning may build a really strict dreammare deeply in our brain I guess. If anything, this long suite can be a well-calculated beauty mixture with some jerky shockwave knocks. Exactly suitable to call the suite as a tragedy of sound. The last can be heard as the end of our life ... sad, vain, tense (like clock running), but graceful, magnificent. Addictive stuff always heads me up actually.

Short tracks on Side B would be something unified with Lars' short ideas. There are not only madness, loudness, dirtiness, but also beauty, fancy, wealthy, fantasy. Sometimes we can feel vacant like in "Loosing Figures", sometimes comfortable in the beginning of "Paint The Dance" (LOL), urgent like in "Frozen Atlantic", and depressive / froggy in "Followed By Water". Of all on the rear, "Fragments", created by sound / tune fragments dealt with (reverse) tape effects, is one of my favourites. Into this track, Lars might stuff various components grabbed in his deep lake mind, I imagine. The last "Under X-mas Tree Of Medusa" can be felt as a tiny version of the suite mentioned above for me, but on the contrary, it's quite impressive that such a Norwegian genius would come across his first turning point in the next creation, due to a fateful encounter with a RIO vanguard Chris CUTLER. Amazing indeed.

In a different sense from typical RIO / Avant-Prog scene, this album should be highly recommended.

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 Black, White & Grey by WHEN album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.95 | 2 ratings

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Black, White & Grey
When RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by HolyMoly
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl and Canterbury Teams

4 stars When is the one-man project of Norwegian multi-instrumentalist Lars Pedersen, a musician who has also spent time in some punk outfits as well as the Beatlesesque retro band The Last James. This is the only When album I've heard, but it is a hard-core Avant/RIO album collaboration with Henry Cow's Chris Cutler, released on Cutler's Recommended label. Apocalyptic soundscapes, musique concrete, and highly orchestrated craziness are on display here. All created pretty much by Pedersen alone, building these crazy beasts from the ground up. Chris Cutler provides the "texts", but really this is Pedersen's show all the way.

The first track is the 20 minute monster "Grey (Part One)". It goes through several movements, but the overriding mood is of stormy chaos and violence. Huge thunderous explosions and machine gun fire with long disquieting interludes of quasi-orchestral music, spoken word fragments, noise, and occasional moments of gentle beauty. It's very colorful stuff, not rock at all, but sure to please fans of the avant garde side of prog.

The album continues with a few shorter tracks, a bit lighter in mood and more homogenous in construction. The seven minute "Heart of Rage" begins with piano and dulcimer, introducing an almost folky melody and lead vocal. The song gets progressively darker as it goes, including a long interlude led by macabre church bells and eerie echoed singing. Dramatic strings (or string sounds, anyway. They do sound quite authentic for what is probably sampled). But then the song just kind of ends. Unless the next track offers more clues -- "From White to White" focuses on distant Gregorian chanting, with some spoken word on top and stately orchestral background, for just under three minutes. "Fellini's Hat" takes us suddenly into more carnival-like territory, a booming rhythm with cacophanous horn-like sounds trumpeting over the top. Finally, there is "Grey (Part Two)", which closes the original album with a nine-minute continuation of the doomy madness of the first part, and it's just as good.

The CD version contains yet another piece, and a 22 minute long one at that. "Death in the Blue Lake" is another multi-headed beast of a piece, similar in mood to "Grey" but a bit less interested in the sound effects and shock aspect of the latter. It reminds me quite a bit of some of the more moody moments on Henry Cow's albums at first. But it doesn't stop there -- more full-on scary orchestral moments pass, building and releasing tension for the remainder of the piece. But in general, this is a more pensive track.

Overall, an excellent work that should please the Avant/RIO contingent to no end. I shy away from five stars only because after about 5 full listens I still don't really feel a whole lot of coherence in these pieces -- there's a bunch of cool weird sections followed by another bunch of cool weird sections, but I'm not convinced it's really going anywhere, if you catch my drift. Still, this one should do just nicely if you want to scare your mom. A strong four.

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