Reviews

“an amped up Daffy Duck with Tourette’s” (Dusted Magazine 2002) Here are some funny singer comparisons! (in English, Norwegian and other languages.)

For serious reviews on concerts and records, you better use the drop-down menu. Reviews concerning specific works are quoted with the description of the work, under the ‘works’ menu.

“half angelic diva, half undomesticated forest spirit.”
Chicago Reader 2016

“Lyden av noen som har sluppet inn en klapperslange inn på banen under NM i bedrifts-squash.”
Nytt på nytt, NRK 2015

“Høres ut som noen som går amok på brunsnegler med gressklipper.”
Nytt på nytt, NRK 2015

“barrage of squelches, drones and African thumb pianos that sound like the loading tape for a ZX81″
The Guardian 2014

“evoking the campy death of the Wicked Witch of the East”
Art Agenda, NY 2013

“Ratkje’s persona is as fluid as her music. She can be a wide-eyed innocent one minute, and a screaming banshee the next.”
Cultured Cleveland 2013

“She is like a small, dark elf out of Nordic mythology.
BBC 2013

“as if Mozart’s Queen of the Night were being sung by a whale”
The Guardian 2012

“Part Raster-Noton, part Björk, part Rahzel with Mike Patton at the controls”
Resident Advisor 2012

“klingt als de doodsreutels van Gollem.”
Gonzo Circus 2012

“Ratkje følger i utgangspunktet tradisjonen fra Lotte Lenya”
Bergens Tidende 2011

“als hätte man das DJ-Pult versehentlich einem Baby auf Koks überlassen.”
taz 2009

“Och rösten förstås, detta makalöst expressiva instrument. I Umeå skrämde hon iväg mer än halva publiken.”
Soundofmusic 2009

“et sted mellom rivingen av Hadeland Glassverk og Björk på syre.”
Groove 2009

“samtidsmusikkens Magica fra Tryll”
Ballade 2009

“somewhere between Annick Nozzati, Diamanda Galas and Joanna Newsom.”
Paris Transatlantic 2008

“registro le doti (in)naturali di Meredith Monk, Diamanda Galas e Joan Labarbara.”
Sound Contest 2008

“Sie ist so etwas wie Norwegens geniale Störenfriedin, eine musikalische Krawallmacherin und Querschlägerin.”
Nordische Musik 2008

“norska kraften kommer inte av oljan utan av Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje.”
Sveriges Radio 2008

“Like Sidsel Endresen’s One, Ratkje expands the aural potential of her instrument, moving from the gutturally percussive to high frequency squeals.”
All About Jazz 2007

“sound more like her Finnish free folk cousins Jonna Karanka and Laura Naukarrinen.”
The Wire 2007

“Ein Gnom, eine Elfe, ein Etwas, Wicht und Wesen”
Ensuite 2007

“assai lontana dallo stereotipo elegante, charmant e popish della nuova ondata di vocalist scandinave”
All About Jazz 2007

“Kurt Schwitters’ recorded sound poem, Ursonate, is another clear precursor”
Pitchfork 2007

“Ratkje’s vibrant vocal fluctuations can make Bjork sound like an “American Idol” candidate.”
Washington Post 2006

“like Iva Bittová on a bad acip trip: squeaking, muttering, yammering away in a style that reminded me very strongly of the kind of vocal improvisation that Emily Hay does on her album Like Minds, or for that matter the stuff that Dagmar Krause does to open the first News From Babel album.”
Ground and Sky 2006

“Akin to Mike Patton’s bizarre solo vocal work, Ratkje single-handedly questions the assumption that Darkthrone are Norway’s heaviest musical export.”
Flavorpill NYC 2006

“Recalls the intensity of Keiji Haino’s duets with Peter Brötzmann.”
The Wire 2006

“Per farsi un’idea iniziale delle capacità di questa grande artista, che si muove sul solco di Meredith Monk, Laurie Anderson, Joan Labarbara, Diamanda Galas, Julia Tippett”
Indie-eye 2006

“from Diamanda Galás-style imperiousness to a childlike fragility reminiscent of Joanna Newsom, via the dada-inspired absurdities of Phil Minton.”
The Wire 2006

“in the style of enchantresses like Fursaxa and Heather Leigh”
Smooth Assailing 2006

“squeaks like a pixie”
Signal to Noise 2006

“hon fullkomligt slaktar luften hon utandas, skrattar som värsta psykavdelningen, gäspar, dadaistbabblar”
soundofmusic 2006

“She looks like a vaguely Satanic Pippi Longstocking and made music that had Paul Dutton and Koichi Makigami retreating into the merch area in fear”
Alienated in Vancouver 2006

“Try to imagine these sounds (some of which border on the Lovecraftian) emerging from a tiny woman who looks a bit like like a china doll”
Raccoon 2006

“a free Improv vocalist in the Maggie Nicols tradition.”
The Wire 2006

“si pone su altri livelli di piacevolezza, nel solco di Cathy Berberian, di Meredith Monk, di Johan LaBarbara, di Diamanda Galas”
Neviogambula 2006

“vocals by Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje, who unleashes Björk-on-Red Bull”
All Music Guide 2005

“Maja Ratkje spewing out vocal chunks that recall ol’ Tom Waits gagging and coughing up blood.”
Tiny Mix Tapes 2005

“Ratkje is one of the most astonishing singers on the planet, sounding sometimes like Diamanda Galas or Shelly Hirsch”
Chicago Reader 2005

“Maja roept wel eens herinneringen op aan Diamanda Galas, maar zou ook zo de vrouwelijke Mike Patton kunnen zijn”
De Subjectivisten 2005

“jeg kan banne på at om The Last Poets var rappens forferdre, så er Maja Ratkje rappens ultrafuturistiske fremtid.”
Hissig 2005

“who can sound like a sampled bit of soundtrack from a Bombay musical.”
Treble 2005

“Ratkjes schwitterska ljudande”
Göteborgs-Posten 2005

“sounding like a bionic Meredith Monk floating above the rhythmic bed of static.”
Pitchfork Media 2005

“stemmebehandling som fikk en til å lure på om Linda Blair i Eksorsisten nok en gang var blitt besatt av djevelen og var dukket frem igjen.”
Bergens Tidende 2005

“Maja Ratkje’s voice is what I would imagine a banshee to sound like: eerie, incomprehensible, and something you don’t easily forget. Is she singing in a language I’ve never heard, or in nonsense syllables, or is it backward? Is it even possible to confine her singing to a single emotional category?”
Foxy Digitalis 2004

“Maja Ratkje who manages to sound both like a contented cat and a cut and pasted woodsprite experiencing a moment of unexpected catharsis.”
BBC 2004

“as if the Wicked Witch of the West was dialoguing with a recalcitrant ogre.”
Jazz Word 2004

“Pippi Langstrømpe som professionel Eileen Ford-model i et noize studie.”
Dansk Radio 2004

“way beyond anything we’ve heard from Bobby McFerrin.”
Toronto Star 2004

“takes Yoko Ono’s throat-shedding style several steps further”
The Georgia Straight 2004

“Maja Ratkje is the female equivalent to Mike Patton – a freestyling, uninhibited, logic-defying one woman music making organism that sings with the angelic harmony of Bjork at one moment and squeals like a possessed pig the next”
Boomkat 2004

“a similar milestone to the work of Patty Waters.
Jackpot Records 2004

“Ratkjes babbling voice brings the mind to the dadaism of Zürich after WW1″
Groove 2003

“Vertailukohdaksi käy vaikka maaninen Diamanda Galas, mutta Maja ei uhku maailmanlopun tuskaa.”
Satakunnan Kansa 2003

“à tour dans l’esprit de Meredith Monk, Björk et Joanne Etu”
Sortiz 2003

“Death Metal ist nichts dagegen, Diamanda Galas ist nichts dagegen, niemand ist etwas DAGEGEN”
Bayerischer Rundfunk 2003

“sulle tracca di una Diamanda Galas, fa quasi il verso a Bjork, come se fosse una parodia inscenata da Kid 606. Come per Monk e per LaBarbara a noi questa non sembra sperimentazione.”
Il Labirinto 2003

“rien à voir ici avec les cris et fureurs d’un Gerigerogegege ou d’un Masonna enragé.”
Chronik 2003

“Maja Ratkje is in short the Beck of contemporary music”
Fjords Magazine 2003

“Dette er lydsporet til en gal kvindes uberegnelige film.”
Special Jazz 2003

“Hon pratar, sjunger, skriker, jojkar, kvackar, väser, fnittrar, viskar.”
Göteborgs-Posten 2003

“Sometimes out like David Moss, other times playful and demented like Mike Patton, entire languages like Anna Homler, and unique delivery like Iva Bittova.”
Zookeper 2003

“Man savner den konsekvens, der kendetegner en musiker som Ami Yoshida”
Geiger 2003

“seminale in cantanti come Phil Minton e Diamanda Galas”
Kathodik 2003

“Aphex territory (…) Laurie Anderson’s vocoder infected by a gleefully distruptive software virus. (…) think Carl Stalling cut up and reflected in a kaleidoscope.”
BBC 2003

“so unglaublich flexibel ist, dass sie wahlweise nach Meredith Monk, Björk, Phil Minton oder Amanda Steward klingt”
Die Welt der Zeichen 2003

“reminded me of James Joyce reading parts of Finnegans Wake.”
FREQ 2003

“With obvious reference points of Bjork, Phil Minton, Jaap Blonk, and Yoko Ono”
Stylus Magazine 2003

“eructations verbales de Jaap Blonk (…) On pense aussi à certain albums de Ground Zero, à Catherine Jauniax et Ikue Mori ou Junko sans ses Dust Breeders.”
Jade 2003

“le groove de Sarah Vaughan, brasse l’avant garde de Shelly Hirsch ou Iva Bittova à la pop romantique de Bjork.”
Chronic’art 2003

“Ainsi viennent spontanément à l’esprit les noms de Sainkho Namtchylak, Tamia, Maggie Nicols”
Les Inrocks 2003

“my thoughts immediately go to Alice in Wonderland and Looney Tunes’ vocal action sport (…) there is a nerve I enjoy from Shelly Hirsch, Ivo Bittova, even Laurie Anderson and Siri Austeen.”
Origami republika 2003

“can both charm like Björk and puzzle like Phil Minton”
All Music Guide 2003

“akin to Nurse With Wound, other times a cross of Yamatsuka Eye and Schlimpfluch”
Vital Weekly 2003

“et lydbilde som ser ut til å dele like mye med Mr. Bungle som med Diamanda Galas”
Panorama 2002

“parodiske etterligning av jazzvokal”
Groove 2002

“inspirert av det ameriaksne heliumsfenomenet The Chipmunks”
Dagsavisen 2002

“i likhet med Berberian en grepa vokalist”
Universitas 2002

“en halsbetent Amon Tobin som spiller på slurva”
Bergens Tidende 2002

“När Maja Ratkje sjunger “normalt” är Björk en referens, på andra låtar är Kalle Anka och Lindha Svantesson närmare.”
Göteborgs-Posten 2002

“an amped up Daffy Duck with Tourette’s”
Dusted Magazine 2002

“obviously feels an affinity with the Maggie Nicols/Julie Tippets school. It also put me in mind of albums by the likes of Judas Priest. (…) imagine Damon Suzuki meeting a Norwegian Rikkie Lee Jones”
Tangents 2002

“mischievous and impish laughter contrasts with the chilled schizophrenic backdrop of horror style electronica.”
Losing Today 2001

“midway between Julie Andrews’ soprano singing and the sound of an instructor in a language learning tape”
Jazz Word 2001

“Maja Solveig overgikk finske Arja flere hakk der og da som sanger.”
Østlendingen 2001

“kom på scenen som en femme fatale og sang Weill-musikk og Berthold Brecht -tekster som om hun var født på en nattklubb i Berlin for mange tiår siden.”
Adresseavisen 2001

“Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje schreit, wimmert, keucht und singt”
Kölnische Rundschau 2000

“Sweet voice over the top like a child singing over her toys. OOPS, the child voice growwwwwwls!”
Alternate Music Press 1999

“Torturskrik fra fortiden?”
Dagens Næringsliv 1999

“som hun er på audition til rolle som fjærkre hos Hitchcock.”
Osloposten 1999

“Á köflum minnti Maju S.K. Ratkje á Bjørk og midkaflinn”
Morgunbladir 1997

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