Release: October 30, 2006

From the press:

"a magnificent electro-rock outfit from Denmark, who make rich chunky electro-rock that leaves you feeling woozy and strangely satisfied." (Dan Martin NME)

"The epic Spleen United are a firm and universal favorite, epitomizing their Danish roots with icy space rock crystallized in The Killers keyboards with the depth and power of Muse" (Virtual-festivals.com)

"...the quintet has a full arsenal of wicked pop tunes put against a heady backdrop of built-up, moody electronic soundscapes. The psychedelic post-rock aspect to them will surely not go unnoticed on these shores" (drowned in sound.com)

“Despite the fact that Spleen United plays dark and melancholy music, they have succeeded in capturing several great pop-images, nicely developed by the producer of Nephew, Carsten Heller” (Berlingske Tidende)

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It takes a strong musical vision and a solid band to produce the kind of cohesive, stylistically certain debut album that Spleen United has released in Godspeed into the Mainstream. But Spleen United is a band that has also taken the time it takes to create their own unique sound and style.

With an underlying tone of warm romanticism and a musical approach that can be down and dirty, hard rocking, melodious and experimental, Spleen United sounds like no other band in Denmark today. They have replaced bass and guitar with synthesizers on many of the tracks, and they insist on playing synthesizers as if they were guitars, to lend an organic feel to the electronic aspects of the album. In other words, Spleen United take their own unique approach to music, and this puts them in a class of their own, right from this debut album.

Spleen United consists of the brothers Bjarke and Gaute Niemann, Jens Kinch, Kasper Nørlund and Rune Wehner. This constellation of musicians did not get together in the course of a week or even a year. Like everything else in the Spleen United universe, finding the right combination was a process that took several years. The Niemann brothers grew up in the town of Jelling. Bjarke and drummer Jens Kinch became musical playmates in the first grade. Kasper Nørlund entered the picture in high school, and Rune Wehner did not join the band until the others had moved to the city of Århus.

Before Spleen United became Spleen United, the band members played everything from pop to heavy rock in innumerable bands and other musical contexts. “We tried a bit of everything, until we finally realised that a somewhat darker mood was what worked best for us. It was also the coolest music to play!” Since the band members have known each other for so many years and played together under different names for almost as long, it’s difficult to pin down exactly when Spleen United was born. “The advantage we have over other bands is that we’ve always done our experimenting behind closed doors. We never played any really serious concerts until we’d been playing together for a long time. We must have practiced for a year and a half before we even thought about playing a concert. We had all tried playing in situations that didn’t turn out to be so great, so we wanted to deliver something we believed in 100% when we finally hit the stage,” the band says.

Around the time of the Spot 09 festival in 2003, Spleen United felt that the time had finally arrived when their music was ready to be performed for a live audience. They had taken some initial steps in that direction six months earlier, playing a concert at Musikcafeen in Århus under another name. “That was about seeing if the songs we’d been working on for a year and a half behind closed doors were strong enough to perform for an audience. As it turned out, they weren’t, so we returned to the practice room and didn’t perform live again until 2003.”

When Spleen United describe how they work with music; how Bjarke comes up with ten-minute sketches at home, and that the band then works on these together in the practice room – often taking several years to put them in their final form – it’s hard to avoid getting the impression that they are perfectionists. But they don’t entirely agree: “It’s just ordinary self-criticism. You have to be self-critical if you care at all about quality.”

Spleen United started out playing guitar-based music. The instrumentation was classic – bass, drums and guitars – and the musical tone fairly light. However, the band’s palette darkened when one of the members happened to buy a synthesizer “because we thought it could be cool to include that”. As time went on, more and more synthesizers were added, as the band discovered that abandoning the limitations of classic rock-band instrumentation enabled them to create new sonic imagery and moods. “We knew right from the start, however, that we didn’t want to work with sequencing. We really take pride in playing everything ourselves.”

Four members of Spleen United started out as guitarists and thus had no prior experience with synthesizers. “Just like when you get your first guitar, it sounds terrible for a long time. But none of us have much money, so we can’t just go out and buy new instruments all the time. We have to use the ones we have and make the most of them.”

Spleen United feel that their music “builds self-confidence” because “there’s quite a bit of power in it.” And indeed, it is an imposing, emotionally compelling record. It’s an album with a lot of pathos, created by a band that dares consistently to express themselves seriously, without reaching for disarming self-irony. Godspeed into the Mainstream was produced by Carsten Heller (whose production credits also include Danish success band Nephew) and features nine songs that resulted from a long process of selection. “We’ve discarded loads of ideas. People might think of the record as very coherent in its style, but we think it’s quite wide-ranging. There are hard things, sensitive things and blunt things. We hope that the more you listen to the record, the more nuances you’ll discover. Some people might think that we take ourselves a bit too seriously, but if you want to accomplish anything with your music, you have to go all the way.”

“GODSPEED INTO THE MAINSTREAM” SONG BY SONG – IN SPLEEN UNITED’S OWN WORDS HEROIN UNLIMITED: “We think this song is kind of Doors-like, since it has that dark 60’s mood to it. It’s our first really big song that uses an extra layer of synthesizers. Three synthesizers are playing at the same time. Even though it was the first song we did that was purely synthesizer based, it’s still pretty heavy. Four of us are guitarists and have played some heavy metal and distorted guitars. Actually, this is the only song on the album where we’d finished the lyrics before we started the music – or more accurately, we had a few lines that sounded cool and worked well.”

PEAK FITNESS CONDITION: “This tune is put together pretty well, in all modesty. It’s the first song where we tried to unite the synthesizer and guitar. There’s a hard guitar riff, a hard feeling and a slightly monotone vocal, which helps make this one especially cool. GOLD RING: “This is actually a very old song that started out being quite experimental. We tried playing it in lots of different ways, but couldn’t make it work. Still, there was something about the tune that made us reluctant to give up on it. In the end we managed to find just the right form for it.” COME ON FIGURES: “This is the one I guess our parents like best. And we didn’t see anything wrong with including a song that appealed to a slightly older generation, either. There are so many dense and intense songs on the album, and we thought it would be good to have something that was a little lighter too.” SPLEEN UNITED: “This is an old one that marks the turning point when Rune joined the band. At that time, we just couldn’t find the right name to call ourselves. After we did this one, we felt that its name was almost too good to be just a song title. We thought it would be a really cool band name too.” INTO THE FUTURE: “There are only two songs on the album that were finished in just a month and a half, which is very fast for us. Those two are Peak Fitness Condition and this one. They’re quite similar in style – both blunt, up-tempo and energetic.” SHE FALLS IN LOVE WITH MACHINES: This is the oldest song on the CD. We’ve really struggled with this one over the past year. It’s been on, then off, then on again. We’ve added new things to it and then taken them out because it didn’t work. The last time we went back to it, we were fascinated by the blunt primitivism of the music. All of a sudden, we got it to work. All we had to do was to transform it from a guitar-based song into one based on synthesizers.” STREETFIGHTER: “An airy pop song with gorgeous harmonies. It’s as simple as that!” GODSPEED INTO THE MAINSTREAM: “This is a new song in something of the same vein as Heroin Unlimited. There’s an incredible atmosphere to it: dark, psychedelic, tribal – and very laid back.”


to be released through Racing Junior on March 27th 2006.

We’re excited to announce we will release Appleseed Cast’s seventh album “Peregrine” on March 27th. After several years absence, and rumours of a break-up, they return with a new line-up, and a new album produced by John Congleton (Explosions in the Sky, The Roots, Modest Mouse). They will soon tour Europe, including three shows in Norway.

Racing junior er stolte over å få gi ut det fantastiske amerikanske bandet Appleseed Cast. Albumet kommer 27. mars. Bandet er samtidig på en omfattende Europaturnè og kommer til Norge:

19/5 Blæst, Trondheim
20/5 Kvarteret, Bergen
21/5 John dee, Oslo

Albumet Peregrine er den syvende langspilleren fra denne kansasgjengen. Det unike lydbildet deres i emo/indie-gater har skaffet dem meget dedikerte fans over hele verden. Etter flere års pause med rykter om oppløsing dukker de nå opp igjen med ny besetning og nytt plateselskap. Peregrine er produsert av superprodusen John Congleton (Explosions in the Sky, The Roots, Modest Mouse).

Deres forrige album gjorde det bra i Norge - da kun på import samt et utsolgt John Dee/Oslo.

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Racing Junior are very proud of releasing the new album of The White Birch. Norwegians The White Birch belongs to the German label Glitterhouse, and have been getting quite a buzz down there lately.

The album is titled "Come Up For Air", and is released 2nd January 2006. Music is described as timeless quality dream-pop with reference to Sigur Ros and Talk Talk but still holds an originality that makes it less comparable to other bands.

Tour dates:

March 9: John Dee, Oslo
March 10: Hulen, Bergen
March 11: Samfundet, Trondheim
March 15: Folken, Stavanger

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After great critical acclaim of their last album, Norwegian trio The White Birch comes around again with no intention of resting on their laurels. This time, their atmospheric and melancholic dream pop is brighter, lighter and even grander than before. And they keep the melody sacred.

The White Birch are reminiscent of little other music, only a few references are so far mentioned more than once: Sigur Rós, Talk Talk, Coldplay. More commonly, though, people have associated the music with the northern landscapes and vast nature, and with music of that same background, like Kings Of Convenience, Röyksopp, Jan Garbarek. Perhaps because of their directness in pursuing beauty and emotions? Still, the rareness of their sound is reflected in how different people describe them: Close to none give the same references.

Ola Fløttum, HC Almendingen and Ulf Rogde has spent ten years cultivating the expression of The White Birch – from angry, lo-fi Sonic Youth-like riffing, through industrial prog and even charming singer-songwriter pop, before finding their current sound with the beginning of the Millennium. Their previous record, Star Is Just A Sun (2002), took four years to make, whereas the new record has been completed in merely three: TWB believes in music that is made like diamonds – putting time and endurance into the pressing of mountains of coal into intensely focused drops of honest nature, and then polishing it with handicraft and love into a human expression of beauty – to produce something that will last.

Former releases:

OCTOBER 25 2004:

Micah P. Hinson - Micah P. Hinson and the Gospel of Progress (Sketchbook Records)
Cosmic country noir.

"an astonishing debut" 9/10 NME
"truly, a gospel of redemption to believe in" 4/5 UNCUT
"up there with Bob Dylan's idiot Wind" 5/5 TIME
"classic in the making" 4/5 DJ
"wonderful stuff" TIME OUT
"heartfelt alt. folk" 4/5 INDEPENDENT
"exquisite minimalism to orchestral grandeur" 4/5 METRO
"simply beautiful" OBSERVER
"heart-wrenching" 5/5 TOUCH

Debut album from Texan singer-songwriter, produced by The Earlies released September 2004

Born in the southern US town of Memphis, Tennessee, on the day that President Ronald Reagan was shot in an assassination attempt, Micah (pronounced my-kah) Paul Hinson was raised in a Christian fundamentalist household. As a teenager, Hinson and his family moved to Abilene, Texas, where he became a member of the local music scene. It is here, where Micah first met his then muse – a Vogue cover model and widow of a notable local rock star. Introduced to her, and in turn Valium and other narcotics, it was not long before Micah’s muse turned into the ‘Black Widow’ as he now refers to her, and he hit a horrible twist of events. In the Spring of 2000, he was caught forging prescriptions and was sent to county jail – “I ended up losing my car, my home, all my money, my instruments and recording equipment, and basically my entire family”.

At the age of 19, Micah found himself homeless and penniless, wandering from pillar to post, sleeping on friends’ floors. He was eventually forced to declare himself bankrupt and moved into a motel and acquired a mundane telemarketing job. During this period, Micah still managed to write around 30 songs on borrowed instruments and equipment.

In the winter of 2003, with help from his old friends from Texas, The Earlies, Micah revisited these songs from his ‘lost’ period to record his debut album, ‘Micah P. Hinson and the Gospel of Progress’. As producers and arrangers of the record (under their ‘Names On Records’ guise), The Earlies’ trademark of lush strings, beautiful keyboards and eerie backdrops harmonise perfectly with Micah’s honest and exposed style (be sure to check out the lap steel, accordion and piano interplay on ‘Beneath the Rose’ and the Jack Nietzsche-esque jangling psychedelic soul of ‘At Last, Our Promises’).

Some collaborations are simply destined for greatness. However, the record never loses sight of Micah’s own unique voice – his twisted, dark tales of love and loss are matched only by a cracked vocal and songwriting that belies his mere 22 years. Drawing inspiration from his young, yet eventful life, Micah has managed to create a truly timeless sounding record. With the simplest of bittersweet lyrics, he evokes the strongest of emotions.

With an album brimful of classics in the making, it is difficult to know just what to draw attention towards first! The complex nature of the arrangements means that we are spoilt from the outset. Light and shade is available amongst the heart-rending offerings. Genuine emotion is still available in the hands of some writers that don’t turn it into obvious mush. ‘I Still Remember’ epitomises the feel of the album, the sense that we can be better as people, if only we can get over our limiting inner demons. “I still remember thinking / how lovely it could be. To hold for eternity / or at least until we fell asleep” (the superbly interwoven vocal duties are shared with The Earlies’ Sarah Lowes). The centrepiece of the album is saved for last with the eight-and-a-half minute epic, ‘The Day Texas Sank To The Bottom of The Sea’, rounding off a debut to hold dear and explore on return visits, over and over.

As we have stated, this young man has led a turbulent life thus far, but it does seem as though the down side and breakable heart seems to have enlivened the future possibilities, as Micah says “the possibilities are endless now”. Micah P. Hinson will be making a much anticipated live return to support the release of his debut album in September.

Daniel Johnston "Fear Yourself"

Distributed in Norway and Sweden through Racing Junior
Your Enemies Friends: You Are Being Videotaped


Catalog no.: BUDDYHEAD014

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