Money Will Ruin Everything: The Second Edition is a really fine and finely-crafted book with two accompanying CDs that comprise a loose history of Rune Grammofon, a Norwegian music production team run by Rune Kristofferson. Rune has been in business for about 11 years now, and it’s my first experience with them.
This package consists of two CDs, mostly instrumental but with some vocals. Accompanying it is an approximately 150-page hardbound book. It’s got a very cleverly designed folded dust jacket that doubles as a reversible poster, one side abstract, the other a subdued photo with some unattributed text.
Inside the book you’ll find an interview between Kim Hiorthøy and Kristofferson discussing various aspects of Rune, some of their past and future projects, and various aspects of the groups they’ve recorded and those who are to come in future issues. It’s an engaging, fast-paced, and spontaneous interview with ideas and comments bouncing off the two participants like bullets off of Superman, insuring that you don’t dare miss a word for fear of having to reread everything.
There are also introductions by Rolling Stone Senior Editor David Fricke and Rough Trade founder Geoff Travis, as well as essays by Wire editor Rob Young and Design writer Adrian Shaughnessy and also a number of photos and illustrations. Overall an eclectic and very interesting project.
The music on the CDs is a compilation of various Rune musicians and groups, totaling 25 tracks at a combined two-and-one-half hours plus.
You certainly wouldn’t go wrong calling this an Experimental Music or Minimalist Music sampler. These groups would not be out of place if they were mixed in with some Philip Glass, John Cage, Terry Riley, John Adams, Laurie Anderson, or Steve Reich, or as mainstream as some Beatles selections, or Pink Floyd, or even Prog Rock groups such as King Crimson, Brian Eno or The Soft Machine. Overall, an adventurous project that’s surprising in its quality and beauty.
Since it’s a compilation, it’s a little difficult to pigeonhole the sound. The best I could come up with is an amalgam of minimalist, experimental, progressive rock, experimental rock, art rock, krautrock, and avant-prog, with soupcons of genres such as techno, trance, and even ambient. Representative groups that fall into these categories that are better known include Tangerine Dream, Aphex Twin, or The Orb.