Both recent singles from legendary Norwegian producer on one, very limited 45!


The return of Norwegian producer, musician, graphic / fashion designer and erstwhile goalkeeper Espen Horne is something quite momentous for Wah Wah 45s. The label’s debut release, the now seminal Magnetica, was produced by the man himself, and in the best part of 25 years that followed he never lost his connection with the label and remained very much part of the Wah Wah family.

Now, almost a quarter of a century later, Espen returns with his first solo material under his own name since that club classic from 1999. Having produced music under the pseudonym of Bobby Hughes (his goalkeeping moniker when playing for Wigan!) and alongside soulful reggae vocalist Caitlin Simpson as Kinny and Horne for Tru Thoughts, Espen is back with another vocalist of a similar ilk, and one who is well known to fans of Wah Wah 45s.

On the A-side of this very limited 45 you’ll find Faye Houston – one of two great front women for the label’s much loved, and much missed, dub outfit Resonators. Here she returns to the fold with Espen on the deeply spiritual soul-jazz beauty Bakeren. It’s the first taste of Espen’s debut LP for the imprint, The Anatomy of Serene Eloquence.

The opening spoken words set the scene:

“For han bor helt alene på en bitteliten øy” which translates to ”Because he lives all alone on his tiny island” and sums up perfectly how Espen lives his life in the beautiful, lush Western Norwegian coastal town of Bergen, surrounding himself with nature and focusing on it as one of the main inspirations for his new music.

This was never more the case than during the pandemic, when Espen began work on his new album. Grateful for the natural wonders that surrounded him, but keen to reach out to fellow humans to collaborate with, he started sharing musical ideas on-line with Faye, organist Rory More and bass player & vibes master Alexander von Mehren. Adding Eirik Blästernes on keys and Ivar Thormodsceter on drums were the finishing touches that created a very special and very moving piece of music that sets the scene for the album. The love and respect that the musicians share for each other, and their surroundings, is explicit in this song. A song which, rather wonderfully, draws its inspiration from an early 1970s Norwegian children’s record, naturally.

On the flip, Bergen Sunrays, Espen has employed the talents of another sublime vocalist – this time rapper and singer Selim Mutic who is also, quite aptly, from the Norwegian’s home town referenced in the song’s title. The track was the first piece that Espen started working on in this new collection of songs, and what started as a rough sketch was soon picked up to be used as part of the Visit Bergen tourism campaign! The song’s lyrics talk about loving their city for what it is – “raindrops, snowflakes, sunrays”, all in one day! It’s a melancholic and soulful love song to Bergen that incidentally also marks the first time that Mutic has written and performed a piece in English!

Curious keys come courtesy of Eirik Blåsternes alongside driving drums from Ivar Thormodsæter, but it’s Chris Holm’s heavy bassline groove, itself inspired, in typical Espen Horne style, by an obscure choral Christian record from 1970, that really propels the track forward. And that groove is tweaked subtly and classily by German house music producers Session Victim, who here deliver the added bonus of a refined downtempo remix to make the track a very handy early doors floor filler.

Radio Play & Reactions

Played by Gilles Peterson (BBC 6 Music, UK), Robbie Vincent (Jazz FM, UK); Laurent Garnier (Deep Search, France); Aly Gillani (Bandcamp Weekly); Kev Beadle (Totally Wired Radio, UK); Michael Rütten (Soul Searching, Radio X, Germany);Robert Luis (Tru Thoughts / Unfold Radio, UK); Bob Hill (Illicit Grooves, Blue In Green Radio, UK); Jazzcat (Ness Radio, Italy); Mark GV Taylor (Reference Point Radio Show, Totally Wired Radio, UK); Fresh Finds Jazz Spotify Playlist; Sven Thomschke (Radio Z 95.8, Germany); Craig Charles (BBC 6 Music, UK); Sarah Ward (Jazz FM); Kev Beadle (Totally Wired Radio, UK); Rob Luis (1BTN / Tru Thoughts, UK); Toshio Matsuura (Inter FM, Japan); Nelson Ramalho (Power FM, UK); Tamar Osborn (Soho Radio, UK); Sven Thomschke (Radio Z, Germany)

“That is such a cool tune that, isn’t it? Double groovy!” Craig Charles (BBC 6 Music, UK)

“A deep and very funky track.” Laurent Garnier (Deep Search, France)

“Superb!” The Reflex (Discolidays, UK)

“Brilliant track.. Sounds a bit Jimi Tenor!” Gilles Peterson (BBC 6 Music, UK)

“It’s stunning brother!” Ashley Beedle (North Street West / Ballistic Brothers, UK)

“Just love this… sounds exactly (like) what is on the label.” Robbie Vincent (Jazz FM, UK)

“This is sooo good. What a return! At first listen i thought it’s a new Galliano track, especially re. the chorus. And that’s not a bad thing. Looking very much forward to hearing the complete album!” Michael Ruetten (Soul Searching, Germany)

“So good to hear some new music from Espen. Definitely getting a play on my show.” Kev Beadle (Totally Wired Radio, UK)

“Lovely tune from Espen! One of his finest to date for me.” Quinton Scott (Strut Records, UK)

“Mad love for this!!!” Tony Minvielle (Jazz FM, UK)

“This is not to be missed.” Dazzle Drums (Block Party, Japan)

“Sounding good. Into both versions. Will support.” Rob Luis (Tru Thoughts / 1BTN, UK)

“Great release!” Russ Dewbury (Brighton Jazz Bop, UK)

“Mind inspiring.” Francesco Adinolfi (Radio 1 / Manifesto newspaper, Italy)

“Was looking forward to it – thank you.”Alena Arpels (Various, UK)

“Welcome back Espen. Been supporting him for a long time..” Jamal Ahmad (Jazz 91.9FM, USA)

“Flows along very nicely!” Steve Johns (Solar Radio, UK)

“So good this, loving that spoken word vocal, Session Victim excel with their remix!!” Alan O’Malley (RTE Pulse, Ireland)

“Absolute quality and emotional music I can get onboard with… Both versions are spectacular!” Richard Peacey (Mi-Soul Radio, UK)

“Like this :)” Steve KIW (1BTN, UK)

“Nice. Great jazzy, funky sound. The out front drums make it.” Phil Grab (KPSU Radio, USA)

“Classy laid back funk.” Jack Duckham (Band On The Wall, UK)

“Wooow, dope!” Dobromir Marzov (Radio Varna, Bulgaria)

“Killer vibes!” DJ Kobayashi (Soho Radio, UK)

“Very cool track!” DJ Angola (Various, USA)

Good vibes nice funk.” MP Marcus (Choice FM, UK)

“Yesss!” Eliana Ben David (Radio EOL, Germany)

“Cool.” Richard Epps (Totally Wired Radio, UK)

“Perfect!!! What a masterpiece!” Eric Tchaikovsky (Night Light Radio, Ukraine)

“Supa Dope!” DJ Seb (Radio Krimi, France)

“Love the groove.” Ash Selector (Solar Radio, UK)

“Great track!” Chris Ex (Black Radio Berlin, Germany)

“WOW!!! Whattagroovytune. Full support.” Cesare Cera (Bologna Uno, Italy)

“A new type of groove/jazzy style, loving it! We’ll be adding Session Victim Remix) version to our afternoon playlist!” DJ Phil Dorsey (The, USA)

“Really great track(s). look forward to hearing more.” Mark Mark Johnson (1BTN, UK)

“So excellent!” Veronique Prebolin (Radio Krim, France)

“Fuck me, this is brilliant!” Bob Hill (Illicit Grooves Radio Show, UK)

“Super!” Deface (Various, Italy)

“This track is food for my soul! Beautiful song!” Aldis Cirilus (Radio SWH, Lithuania)

“Well Jea!!” Mate (Radio Agora, Austria)

“Cool groove.” DJ Snuff (Universal Magnetic B Boy, UK)

“Amazing track! Love Espen Horne works!” Enrique Domenech (Freeform Podcast, Spain)

“Wonderful!!!!” Olivier Cavaller (De La Bonne Musique, France)

“Nice ones…” Lorenzo Aldino (Jockey Club, Ibiza, Spain)

“Fire!” Roshan Ram (Guestlist, UK)

“Ace!!!” Mark Bailey (Radio Corax, Germany)

“Fab track – supporting.” Andrew Haig (99.9 Bay FM, Australia)

“Yo!!!!!!!!!” DJ Junior (Record Breakin’, USA)

“WOW! This is really great! Love both versions – full support!” Sven Thomschke (Radio Z, Germany)

“Love both, remix is magic.” Matteo “Pzzo” Chelini (Ritmo Radio Show, Italy)

“Back to the old day of Nu Jazz Hip Hop.” Amar Kabouche (Fauve Radio, Hong Kong)

“Very smooth.” Sista Selecta (2Bob Radio, Australia)

“The original is dope!” David Hanke (Jazz Renegades / Bathurst, Germany)

“So good to see Sir Horne back on the block with a mighty Bergen anthem. Full radio& DJ support ON.” Tom Wieland (Les Gammas, Austria)

“Great track.” Rado Tomek (NU Spirit Club, Slovakia)

“Lovely.. will play on Loose FM.” Cal Gibson (Loose FM, UK)

“I love it!” Martijn Barkhuis (Jazzrdeville, Netherlands)

“DOPE DOPE DOPE!” Mr Shiver (Various, UK)

“Sicknessssssssss!” DJ Philly P (Various, Serbia)

“Lovin’ both versions I’ll be supporting thanks.” Nelson Ramalho (Power FM, UK)

“Espen Horne is back! Finally!” Ubbo Gronewold (Mannheim Radio, Germany)

“Both the original and the rework are superb. Will be difficult to know which to play. Great production on both cuts” DJ Expfression (What’s Hot Music, UK)

“”Really feeling the jazziness of this, a beautiful journey..Tranpsorting beauty.” DJ Mr Lob (Various, Australia)

“Excellent.” Robert Lochmann (Radio X, Germany)

“Cool ones…” Tjerk Coers (Armada Music, Netherlands)

“Oh yeah we are digging this beauty.” Aja Allsop (Ketch-A-Vibe, UK)

“Cool!” Ivan Mera (Higher Club, Spain)

“Totally dope. Welcome back ;)” Dan Deep Tenor City (Soho Radio, UK)

“Great – will play.” DJ Lamp (Coalition, UK)

“In typical eceletic Wah Wah 45s fashion, their connection with Norway is a bit of a strange northern hemisphere circle to square but it’s easy to see why it exists as their lates release, Espen Horne’s ‘Bergen Sunrays’ featuring Selim Mutic.
Clearly, the cities reputation of the Manchester of the North has been transposed into a slow burn soul-jazz Gil-Scot Heron weatherman vibe and that’s got to be cool. And it comes with a heavier-synth Session Victim remix for a Bandcamp Friday Bonus! This is apparently Espen’s first solo project in his own name since 1999 so it seems appropriate his old mates at Wah Wah 45s will be releasing the album, ‘Anatomy of Serene Eloquence’ later this year.” Gerry Hectic (You And The Music, UK)

“A triumphant return for the mighty Espen Horne.” Baz Hickey (45 Live)

“A true mellow moment to savor.” Steve Johns (Solar Radio, UK)

“Lovely! Will certainly get some spins from me.” Jason Palma (Footprints, Toronto, Canada)

“A pleasure for my ears.” Cesare Cera (Bologna Uno Radio, Italy)

“The Balearic sound of WahWah? I’M ALL IN.” Steve KIW (1BTN, USA)

“Love it!” Veronique Prebolin (Radio Krim, France)

“Lovely!” Junior (Record Breakin’, USA)

“Fullness and beauty. An uplifting and gentle track that owes it all to wonderful voice of Faye Houston in vibrato heaven and the beautiful Espen Horne arrangement. Genius….and now just playing my copy of Bobby Hughes Experience’s Fusa Riot also from 1999, Another gem.” John Warr (Afrobase, UK)

“Wonderful new music from Espen Horne!” DJ Jazzcat (Ness Radio, Italy)

“A classic already!” Chris Ex (Black Radio Berlin, Germany)

“Lovely, will play in my loose fm show for sure!” Cal Gibson (Loose FM, UK)

“Beautiful!” Olivier Cavaller (De La Bonne Musique, France)

“Love this vibe!!!” Jamal Ahmad (Jazz 91.9FM, USA)

“Summer vibes!” Rogall (Electric Sideshow, Germany)

“Cool track!” DJ Angola (Space Ibiza NYC, USA)

“This is beautiful music!” Sven Thomschke (Radio Z 95.8FM, Germany)

“Such a cool groove.” Ash Selector (Solar Radio, UK)

“Beautiful, fantastic tune. Love it and will spin it with pleasure. I’m looking forward to hear new Espen Horne LP.” Marcin Harper (Czwórka Polskie Radio, Poland)

“This is such a cool release. A really enjoyable listen.” DJ Osric (Various, Australia)

“Great to have EH back with a lovely track.” Simon Harrison (Basic Soul, UK)

“Absolutely love!” Eric Tchaikovsky (Night Light Radio Show, Ukraine)

“LOVE IT.” Allan Skov (Friendly PR, Denmark)

“This is truly wonderful.” Bob Hill (Totally Wired Radio, UK)

“Very smooth yet still driving!!” Radio Agora (Austria)

“A nice summer groove – nice track look forward to hearing more . . .” Marky Mark Johnson (Radio Reverb, UK)

“Love the vibe and warm production! Hope there will be (much) more of this (and on vinyl).” Xander Roozen (Royal Groove, Netherlands)

“Wicked beats man..lovin this .sure to play tomorrow night on my show on Solar.” Raj Selli (Solar Radio, UK)

“Bliss. on air a must!” Olgierd (Sofa Surfing, Poland)

“Wow this is gorgeous! Slick & classy summer aperitivo on the terrace energy.”” Chris Greenwood (SOAS Radio, UK)

“Alluring, transporting and much needed.” DJ Mr Lob (Various, Australia)

“Gorgeous! An enticing synergy of influences that, for me, breathes new life into the funky jazz of the 1970s.” Jay Paul (WRUV, USA)

“Lovely!” Jon Freer (Freer Sounds, UK)

“Back in the days good tunes.” Amar Kabouche (Fauve Radio, Hong Kong)

“Nice one.” Robert Lochmann (Radio X, Germany)

“Beautiful!!” Enrique Domenech (Freeform Radio, Spain)

“Soulful and fine track.” Ivan Mera (Higher Club, USA)

“Perfect.” Radio Tomek (NuSpirit Club, Slovakia)

“Oh now this is a few steps above the normal promo. Love the beauty of this track.” Paul Knight (Reform Radio, UK)

“Big fan of the Bobby Hughes release, great to hear some new music!” Peter McLennan (Base FM, New Zealand)

“Nice VIBES…..Radio Ready!!” Matthew Langfear (Various, UK)

“Good one!!!” Markus Milz (Radio Corax, Germany)

“CLASSY.” Mr Shiver (Various, UK)

“Lush and tropical with some superb musical flourishes and a very catchy vocal hook, this was made for summer. I’m very much looking forward to the rest of the album.” Drummie Dave (Various, UK)

“It’s Eurovision week when we’ll be cheering on Norway and reminising about Bobbysocks win for Norway in 1985 with ‘Let It Swing’ (Mel Giedroyc’s favourite Eurovision song ever!) or in the house of Hectic, i’ts the return of Norway’s Espen Horne (who’s been mates with Wah Wah 45’s Dom Servini for over 20 years) with a70s inspired ‘Bakeren’ featuring Faye Houston; it’s got flute for the flute gang and dreamy 60s beat pop that’ll chill your Balearics.” Gerry Hectic (You And The Music, UK)



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