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METATAG

Progressive Electronic • Norway


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Metatag biography
Entrancing-avantgarde dream pop / digitalized space ambient duet from Norway. The missing link between Berlin School (notably materials from Conrad Schnitzler, Big Robot), Monoton and sophisticated experimental minimalism (Ragnar Grippe?). An interesting and original musical diversity.

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METATAG discography


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

4.00 | 5 ratings
Transmission
2014
3.68 | 5 ratings
Surrender
2015

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METATAG Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Surrender by METATAG album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.68 | 5 ratings

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Surrender
Metatag Progressive Electronic

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Norwegian project METATAG consists of two composers who prefer to stay anonymous. They first appeared in 2014 with their debut album "Transmission", and one year later they reappeared with their second studio recording "Surrender". Like with their initial production it was released on cassette by the US label Hel Audio.

Dark ambient electronic music with dystopian futuristic landscapes as a specialty is what Metatag provides us with on "Surrender". Some excursions into more of a classic electronic universe appear here and there, adding a bit of variety to the proceedings, but by and large this is a production that will have its main appeal among those fond of the darker aspects of ambient electronic music.

 Surrender by METATAG album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.68 | 5 ratings

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Surrender
Metatag Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I have been giving this Metatag, 2015, "Surrender" many listenings since I aquired it early this year. A 22 short compositions release, has to have something going on for it

Outsider, track one, a dreamy industrial lullaby, glitches included. 3.5.

Lunar Half, track 2, a minimalistic noise experiment, glitches included, close in spirit to concrete music but quiet toothless. 3 flat.

Dying Light Bulb, track 3, could fit to perfection a video of a dying bulb. 3.0.

Flaming, track 4, will satisfy anyones hunger for a crossfire between Brian Eno's iconic, clean cut, melody progression and Conrad Schnitzler raw experimentations. 3.5.

Escape,track 5, a kind of noisy heavy atmosphere church organ melody under the attack of bombs, fun. 3.5.

Area Two, track 6, a close encounter between electronic pulses (Berlin School) and the dark side of electronic noise. 4.0.

Add Rainclouds, track 7, a kind of Eno song with a menacing reverb augmentation. 3.0.

Sidsstation Vacation, track 8, probably the most complex composition up to now, the glitches counterpointing the flute like synth line while on coming and ongoing noisy sweeps build a short and memorable (at last) track. 4.5.

Gliding White, track 9, a gloomy and minimalistic melody line among scattered heavy chords, could fit as an introduction to some other song. 3.5

Plato Streams, track 10,brings again the apocalyptic church organ like construction under attack. I prefer the other similar track, and starting to sense a shortage of musical solutions and a lack of instrumental vocabulary. 3.0

Between,track 11, another very short Enoesque progression. 3.0

Earthling, track 12, founded on a heavy bass like synth chords, counterpointed by a distant and mysterious melody line, another more ambitious effort, but fails to go beyond itself. 3.0

Unrest, track 13, a burial procession like composition, which achieves to perfection this environment, yet its construction is quiet simple (for good) and obviously sounds like an edit. 3.5

N779,track 14, as its name implies, leans toward computer like sequences (glitches included as almost always) and a sweeping sweet and sad melody backdrop. 3.5

Dreamwave, track 15, another counterponting sequences piece, grows nicely and goes beyond itself for a few seconds. 3.0

The Fallen Ones, track 16, an ominous piece which combines simultaneously all the previous elements and builds a very good atmosphere, as a memorable composition. 4.0

The Sky Beneath, track 17, will turn to be the best, up to this point, in the Eno like styling. 3.5

Surrender, track 18, another more ambitous composition, has the kind of prayer like feeling but with an obscure edge and a short but interesting detour. 3.5

Time Capsule, track 19, a nostalgic yet detached composition with some new sonic textures and a gloomy atmospheres. 3.5

Red Eye Remover, track 20, another electronic prayer like composition adds up points by its good and minimalistic melody line. 4.0

Decemberland, track 21, plays again the sweet and sad nostalgic trick. At this point quiet unimpressive. 3.0

The Endless City, track 22, brings, at last, a different kind of electro/acoustic sounds although the nostalgic spirit lingers on, on its songwriting. 4.0

Too many 3s, few 4s, no 5s.

As their previous, 2014, "Transmission", there is the same kind of experimental briefness, which sound like the highlights (in proportion to itself, of course, do not let me be misunderstood) of longer performances. Like edits or scissored parts. Composition wise I could hardly find any kind of improvement or big difference in comparison to the same.

I know myself, I will forget this release as easily as nothing, in favor of 100s of better ones.

3.5 "Good" PA stars.

 Surrender by METATAG album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.68 | 5 ratings

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Surrender
Metatag Progressive Electronic

Review by LearsFool
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

5 stars And I quote: "Do not listen to 'Surrender' while driving a tank."

There are no words.

Another knockout by the maybe-Norwegians behind "Transmission", Metatag have decided to build off of the dark martial wave of "Transmission"'s "Peach Trees" to make a whole album of dour ethereals. They don't stick to the Bauhaus X Laibach formula most of the time, but this is album is distinctly new-wave-meets-dark-wave-meets-TD. It's like a lost artifact drummed up in '83 after listening to "In The Flat Field" and "My Life In The Bush of Ghosts" while on something mind-altering, and left forgotten in some record company's crawlspace after being handily rejected by a few execs who had the bejezzus scared right out of them by it. Yes, Metatag's albums are cassette only. This is as excellent and ethereal as ever for the duo, and here many of you never thought angelic darkness was possible. Highly recommended, a unique electronic document.

 Transmission  by METATAG album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.00 | 5 ratings

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Transmission
Metatag Progressive Electronic

Review by LearsFool
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

5 stars Who are Metatag? That's the question that's been bothering underground electronica fans for a year now. Just who could create electronica that is so calming, so beautiful, so ethereal, so minimalistic, and even sometimes dissonant, while still in a position to be deemed prog? But whoever these two probably-Norwegians are, we at least have their musical footprints to savour with our ears. Listening through this tapestry, it seems clear they take from the likes of Aphex Twin's second ambient album, and a bit from Young Marble Giants, and then a good slice of Tangerine Dream, and so made the unexpected happen. "Day One" and "Peach Trees" are the best tracks, the latter a standout in to a degree ditching the minimalism and going for a dark, martial take on new wave grooves - Bauhaus meets Laibach, perhaps - while still being ethereal. As the album goes on, it becomes harder and harder not to give a big five to it. Excellent listening.
 Transmission  by METATAG album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.00 | 5 ratings

BUY
Transmission
Metatag Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Artist under construction!

METATAG's 2014, "Transmission" is all electronic, the music composition has been transfigured to fit the pure electronic language.

20 short compositions force the listening experience to be minimalistic. The sound engineering has been closely worked out, the short experiments even if weak or notable sound great.

The first 4 songs promise a great album, but around track 5, I understood I was listening to some kind of edits or editions of what sounds to be longer compositions, like "highlights" or scissored sections.

As mentioned the musical proposal weakens itself. Some of the "highlights" are not that bright when put up together. Around track 7 things get on course again, the musical box sound versus deep and fast paced pulses has its charms.

And then again METATAG can't deny his Brian Eno like minimalistic influences, that sound exactly like Eno´s, although enhanced or distorted by the sound engineering. Up to track 10 the sound is by far more obscure and experimental, sometimes it works out, others are not that enticing. Track 14 and 15 are two "dreamy/eerie ambient songs" worth listening to.

The somehow surprising deep abstract intense bass pulses appear to be a quiet unique music language proposal, then again the songwriting has not freed itself completely of other foreign musical idioms. Like track 16 for example, which although a "highlight" still sounds like a TD song, a great one but still a TD one. Track 17 works with the minimal noise/melody ambient song protocols, again the deep basses are clue to enjoy the short experience. Tracks 18 and 19 try on the same idea but in a less original approach. Closing track 20 is also slow paced and minimalistic but entirely magnetic and nostalgic.

The aftertaste is obtuse and difficult to pin point. In general it has this "greatest bits" sound, and sadly as in most "greatest hits" records in my personal experience, I rarely agree that all of those pieces are exactly that great.

It sounds like a promising act, now let's see what follows.

***3.5 PA stars

 Transmission  by METATAG album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.00 | 5 ratings

BUY
Transmission
Metatag Progressive Electronic

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Norwegian project METATAG is the creative vehicle of two composers who so far prefer to stay anonymous. "Transmission" is, from what I understand, their debut production, and was released digitally and on cassette by the US label Hel Audio in 2014.

"Transmissions" is a fine debut album by Metatag. Their brand of dark, ambient and electronic music isn't one that will appeal to a broad audience I suspect, the often bleak and desolate landscapes explored ones that will intrigue a select few. But if you enjoy minimalistic, ambient electronic music of the instrumental variety, and especially if you enjoy the sound of vintage keyboards, this is a production that should intrigue you. Even more so if you tend to enjoy music of this kind that contains at least some references to the so-called Berlin school of electronic music.

Thanks to philippe for the artist addition.

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