During most of the album´s 45 minutes, however, their instruments make noises more closely identified with their traditional natures, even as the duo filter elements of free improvisation, heavy rock and electronica into a highly charged composite where such tags have suddenly become irrelevant. MoHa! manage to be simultaneously primitive and complex, visceral and cerebral. They sporadically lay back into periods of spacious minimalism, but mostly their juggernaut hyperactivity produces a near continous climaxing effect.
The Wire (UK)
The battle which ensues as these two untamed talents rip each others ideas into tiny pieces before welding them together with old superglue and animal hair is simply explosive. Anders Hana's devastating punk/metal guitar is draped jaggedly over some of the finest drumming I've ever heard and then regurgitated from Olsen's laptop; imagine Lightning Bolt going back to the drawing board, reinventing themselves as a free jazz combo and playing a show with Wolf Eyes and you might have some idea of where we're going here. Anyone who was lucky enough to catch their recent contribution to the latest Wire Tapper compilation will know exactly what to expect, it was without a doubt the highlight of the cd and the album does not renege on those promises. Like a nail gun to the cranium, this is hard hitting, distorted and ever so slightly disorientating - don't say we didn't warn you, MoHa! are dirty, wrong and perfect for a family get-together, make secret lovers of them now.
Extremely strong, powerful and fresh music between hardcore, free jazz and noise-improv. A killer record! I want to see them live!
Regarding ideas MoHa! aren´t that far from where Supersilent used to be, but to a larger degree they seem to be more driven by what one can call instant improv and an inner energy that leads to violent releases in their communication. ”Raus Aus Stavanger” shows that Norwegian noise and improv-rock has a new challenger, an exploring unit with so much explosive adrenalin and aggression inside that even the silence on the record will nail you to reality. 5/6.
Electric guitar and drums. Makes you think of rock? Well, yes actually. This is energy in the purest form. Guitarist Anders Hana and partner Morten J. Olsen on drums have during the last years defined themselves as young and extremely talented musicians who have earned their entry into the Norwegian improv mob. And quite rightly so. One thing is that they master their instruments to the full, another thing is that they use this in a rare creative interplay. The communication between them should be an inspiration to anyone doing any kind of music. This release also proves something most of us didn´t think was possible: That free improv isn´t necessarily best live.
It´s so great though to finally get to hear this band on this more widely available album on the always reliable Rune Grammofon imprint. Since Moha! have collaborated with pretty much everyone in the highly productive Norwegian noise/free jazz/improv scene, I´ll spare you any namedropping. In some regards, you could view Moha! as a free version of Lightning Bolt. There´s the same kind of energy in the guitar riffs and lots of changes in Tempo, no vocals though. But while Lightning Bolt´s music seems to come from a hardcore background, the overall feel of “Raus aus Stavanger” bears more resemblance to free jazz, especially because all tracks sound like they were improvised. Morten Olsen´s drums and percussion roll and roll and roll and if there´s something to hang on to, it´s the guitar playing of Anders Hana, which ranges from King Crimsonish riffs to feedback noise orgies. The absolute highlight of the disc is “A4”, where there´s at least five seconds of matching drums and guitars and enough energy to burst your windows into pieces. Probably the most controlled track is the album ender “B5”, which needs some time build up. After four minutes of introduction, there´s no more escaping though. The music grips you so tightly that you´ll need several deep breaths and a few minutes of rest after the CD is over. Then you´ll be magnetically pulled towards your CD player to press play again. 8/10.
Foxy Digitalis (US)
Wow. Just when it seemed that free improv had disappeared up its own fundament into tedious ultra-minimalist posturing or equally boring high volume flailing around, along come a couple of Norwegians and make it all seem fun again. Curses. Did I say fun? No, it is, really. Moha! offer a kind of arhythmically funky heavy metal musique concrete, sourced from electric guitar, drums and a laptop. Very much like the UK's own criminally underrated Bark! (what is it with bands and exclamation marks?), they crunch, roar, crash, burn and bleep through ten concise improvs with surgical precision. Imagine Supersilent on a combination of steroids and strong lager and you might be close; not for the fainthearted, but at high volume this is a gleeful, joyful noise worth experiencing.
BBC Online (UK)
There is a great sense of communication between both players. They exactly know each other and know how to play these ten blocks of highly concentrated pieces of free form noise improvisation. Another great disc!
Vital Weekly (NE)
”Raus Aus Stavanger” is a much brighter beast, if not strictly easier on the ears, influenced, it sounds, as much by doom metal as Derek Bailey, hulking guitar/drum abuse coalesces into something that sounds like lightning storms look.
This album is chaotic, yes, but MoHa! are forthright about their fondness for the work and theory of Anthony Braxton, in whose framework experimentation should be the focus of any music. But if experimental music breaks down convention, Braxton also sees the potential for finding new conventions in the process of breaking old ones. Additionally, Braxton links convention, or the typical rules that define musical expression, to consciousness. For his students in MoHa!, then, breaking apart convention (meter, key, tempo, etc.) is just as much about exploring new ways to think about or experience ideas as it is the creation of challenging music. I mean, they're not exactly finding a new musical language, as they're taking cues from fellow Rune Grammofon labelmates and sinister electo-jazz villains Supersilent, as well as all the usual “out” suspects: Brötzmann, Leo Smith, Braxton and Zorn. The big difference, however, is that MoHa! employs rock timbres to gain an immediacy their influences lack. Despite the barrage, they are often clever, cute, and charming. And while I won't try to label this “twee out” or anything, that sense of quirk and humor on “Raus Aus Stravanger” had my fingers crouched in QWERTY curls about a minute into its second track. It absolutely screams out of the gate, all synapses firing, and, as with all good “out” stuff, you can feel it eat at your brain cells.
The people of Stavanger can hoist the flag. Supersilent and Scorch Trio have got a fine healthy cousin. The music is recorded live in Athletic Sound studio and it is precisely the communiation between the two that is so strikingly good. ”Raus Aus Stavanger” is an album with a unifying character and brutal will to live. 5/6.
”Raus Aus Stavanger” is one hell of a workout. Ten tracks run almost forty-five minutes and the youngsters waste no time coming out of the gates as "A2" starts with processed drums and screeches of guitar feedback before the two elements slowly meld together, like two broken-down scrap heap robots trying to dance elegantly but slamming together and damaging themselves in the process. "B1" drops all mentions of restraint as the drums are absolutely hammered to bits while the guitar belches out power chords and skronked-out noise. The track lurches and rumbles for over five minutes before the group breaks into "B3," which finds the drums mangled into processed, freaked-out loops and smashing single hits while the guitar wails behind the madness.
Anything on this label is always worth a peek in my book, even if it's just to challenge the ear drums. And Moha! certainly do that. Descriptions don't come easily, but a collision between Slayer, Ornette Coleman and Metal Mickey will do. Over ten tracks Anders Hana (guitar) and Morten J. Olsen (drums and supercollider 3) appear bent on proving that distorted metal guitar and free jazz percussion were always obvious bedfellows.
Like an intelligent soundgenerator locked up in a powerstation. During 45 minutes of controlled blastout in the landscape between noise and electro acoustic free improv they take no hostages and when all is said, everything else will sound like easy listening. 4/6.
Punks in improv suits. The highlight: The closer ”B5”. Pure euphony.