Asked to describe his label Rune Grammofon's output, Rune Kristoffersen uncomfortably offers, "It's typically somewhere between improvised, electronic, contemporary . . . ," before fading off. Yet that description suits this double-disc best-of/artist's book that celebrates 10 years of the label. The roster on the CDs — Susanna, Humcrush, Scorch Trio, Deathprod, Supersilent, and more — is a perfect representation of the label.
The book, designed by RG's album-sleeve designer, Kim Hiorthøy, is part scrapbook, part visual essay — pics of artists and mark-ups of the work that goes into each record cover are interspersed with photos of lamps, books, houses, and trees that suggest how Hiorthøy has created a visual identity for each album and, collectively, for the label.
There are also essays by heavy-hitters David Fricke (Rolling Stone) and Rob Young (The Wire). Kristoffersen frames the book as a reaction against file sharing — "Try and download this!" It's easy to enjoy the downfall of the RIAA, but if a label with this type of progressive output is having trouble, you wonder whether all that torrenting was worth it.