Album of the week: Kuuk – Live fra Blitz

“Er du klarer for Kuuk!” Screams Mira Berggrav Refsum from the stage during a live performance at Blitz in Oslo, and ironically now, that she and Ragna Solbergnes have called time on Kuuk, Norway finally is ready for Kuuk. The recording, taken in 2016, is their last artistic impression on the world and closes a chapter on one of the most exciting groups ever to come out of Norway.

From their stage personas, to the videos and the extent from which their poured themselves into their art, Kuuk will be sorely missed, and it’s doubtful that we will see the likes of a band like them for some time to come.

Conceived during an after party in 2013 – of course they were – Kuuk took the stage and Norway by storm without a single song in their repertoire. By 2014 they released their first single, “Htg” and by the time the video hit You Tube and every Norwegian social media channel, Kuuk was on everybody’s lips. It remained a side-project however for the two Oslo rappers, who called on a group of local musicians and producers like Sahrish Abbas to get their special brand of nachspiel Hip Hop to the recorded format with singles like “Hor,” “10000 High Fives” and “Klitthopp” making a sever impression on the local scene and beyond.

While they’ve always denied any political message in their music, in a recent interview with Blitz, Mira does suggest “whether we wanted it or not, KUUK is political.” They inadvertently became Gay icons, even though everybody in the band is heterosexual and it’s hard to ignore their gender in an age when Hip Hop is still dominated by homophobic chauvinists. A political message is especially hard to avoid in an age when everything is scrutinised under a microscope by social media’s amateur critics, but it shouldn’t diminish the impact that their music made (even for non-Norwegian natives).

Dark, impetuous beats grind against coarse bottom-heavy bass movements with Mira and Ragna’s dichotomous vocals going punch for punch through their music. And while their singles, EPs and videos made for titillating entertainment, their energy on stage was unmatched, so it seems only appropriate that they call end to the project with this document of their prowess on stage. 

This record perfectly captures that brutal intensity they have on stage. Although unfortunately we are denied their striking visual appearance through the audio recording, the low quality recording and the raw and impetuous performance puts you right there in the moment at Blitz with Kuuk. It’s a shame it had to come to an end, because now more than ever, Norway, no the world… needs Kuuk.

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