12 Feb Episode 25 – Pytten’s Chamber Music: Black Metal in Grieghallen
Pytten’s Chamber Music: Black Metal in Grieghallen
As the ground began to swell in early ‘90s Norway, a shadowy figure known to metal fans only as “Pytten” (ne Eirik Hundvin) ensconced himself in Bergen’s Grieghallen Studio and began to document the work of the country’s Young Turks. In this frontier territory, Pytten used the cavernous spaces of Grieghallen to create a miasmic, atmospheric sound that would establish the production aesthetics for the emergent global black metal movement. For its 25th episode, Radical Research examines the morphology of Pytten’s work across a ten year span, as well as his cooperation with some of black metal’s most emblematic artists.
Note I: We so appreciate our Sponsor, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, and urge you to go deep with their various RPGs! Get Frostbitten and Mutilated at a Triumphant Discount:
Note II: There isn’t much interview documentation or footage on Pytten, but here’s a great video that reveals some details we weren’t aware of at the time we recorded this episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvQLSigwF2U
Note III: Pytten, much like English producer, Colin Richardson, was dragged into the world of extreme music rather innocently. His first production, for Bergen’s Old Funeral, began as a favor to one of the band members’ fathers. Solid dad move.
Note IV: As we mention in our conversation, Pytten played bass in several rock bands in the ‘80s. Apropos of this episode, he also contributed fretless bass to Enslaved’s “Yggdrasil,” from their classic 1994 album, Frost, confirming his mettle as both producer and practitioner.
Music cited, in order of appearance:
Old Funeral, “Skin and Bone“ (Abduction of Limbs, 1990 demo)
Burzum, “Det Som Engang Var” (Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, 1993)
Mayhem, “Life Eternal” (De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, 1994)
Emperor, “The Burning Shadows of Silence” (In the Nightside Eclipse, 1994)
Hades, “Hecate (Queen of Hades)” (…Again Shall Be, 1994)
Immortal, “Moonrise Fields of Sorrow” (Battles in the North, 1995)
Borknagar, “Vintervredets Sjelesagn” (Borknagar, 1996)
Gorgoroth, “Destroyer” (Destroyer, or About How to Philosophize with the Hammer, 1998)
Aeternus, “Warrior of the Crescent Moon” (…And So the Night Became, 1998)
Trelldom, “Slave Til En Kommende Natt” (Til Et Annet…, 1998)
Mork Gryning, “Maelstrom Chaos” (Maelstrom Chaos, 2001)
Enslaved, “The Cromlech Gate” (Monumension, 2001)
episode 26 preview: Nomeansno, “All Lies” (Wrong, 1989)
Radical Research is a conversation about the inner- and outer-reaches of rock and metal music. This podcast is conceived and conducted by Jeff Wagner and Hunter Ginn. Though we consume music in a variety of ways, we give particular privilege to the immersive, full-album listening experience. Likewise, we believe that tangible music formats help provide the richest, most rewarding immersions and that music, artwork, and song titles cooperate to produce a singular effect on the listener. Great music is worth more than we ever pay for it.
This is Radical Research Podcast episode 25