Kjell Nordbo – SHAPE

kjell (1)

Real name:  Kjell Nordbø

Handle: El Morell

Country: Norway


Ex member of :
Blues Muz’ (1992 -> 31/4-2005), SHAPE (8-1990 -> 31/4-2005)
Functions :
Coder, Graphician, Musician


Sadly passed away in April 2005 by committing suicide. Will be sorely missed by all who knew him.


Kjell Nordbø, We Miss You

In January 2005 the C64-composer Zyron got a package with a 5.25″ floppy disk from his friend in Norway. The disk didn’t work, which was annoying. The guy who had sent the disk, Kjell Nordbø, had been active in the demoscene since 1991 but always seemed to operate in the fringe of this fringe subculture. He mostly made what he called “music demos” – executable audiovisual albums – for C64 and sent floppies to a few people who would spread them to the public. This music disk was only given to Zyron and Mermaid , but since the disk didn’t work and he was in the process of moving, the music disk was forgotten. Some time later, Zyron got an e-mail from Kjell’s father who told him that Kjell had committed suicide by hanging himself. Shock. Zyron found the disk again and managed to fix it. He loaded the disk and saw that the title of the music demo was “Larger Than Life”. Hrmmf. When he loaded the music disk he was in for the next shock as he saw the intro screen – Kjell’s logotype was hanging from a tree….

For those of us who had been following Kjell’s work, this was a terrible loss. After his passing away I couldn’t listen to his songs for a long time, since the dark nature of his work really took a new level after he said goodbye to the world through his last C64-production. I find Kjell’s work to be among the best 8-bit work, ever. I think his music disks are amazing works, combining artistic and technical skills and creating very eerie feelings with music, graphics, programming and text. His way of experimenting and surprising, the way he creates the mosty spooky atmospheres but sometimes also almost disturbingly happy songs. Often his works have very surprising changes aswell, so they are hard to grasp by just fast forwarding through them. I think his music has inspired me a lot, and I would like to make other people discover his work. That’s why I am trying to promote him so much. His first solo music disk starts the scrolltext with “Welcome to my world of prejudices, schizophrenia and pure perfection.” It’s a good introduction to what is to come. Here’s a list of his solo music demos to show his productivity (each collection contains >a lot< of music) and his tradition of naming his collections…

Does Not Compute (1994)
The Magic Flute (1994)
Born Alive Dead (1995)
Relationship Across the World (1995)
Total Insane OK (1996)
Pioneers Are Lonely (1996)
Iron of Steel (1996)
Outsider Seek Safety (1997)
Death or Hell? (1998)
Forces in Alliance (1999)
The Big Leap (1999)
No Compromise Touch (2000)
A New Life (2001)
Journey Through Mirrorland (2002)
Mad Mans Dream (2002)
Ghost Escapes Body (2003)
Larger Than Life (2005)

(note that some of these cannot be run if a cartridge is not in the C64 or the emulator)

A composer with a wide spectrum of styles such as Kjell is hard to get into when there are more than 400 songs to download. I asked Zyron to make a selection of his favourite tracks by Kjell. First he said “it would be easier to select the ones that aren’t that good” but finally managed to get it down to 80 tracks. After Zyron’s list I will also put a less comprehensive list for people with less time. All of the links are to MP3-files at 6581-8580.com which means that unlike the original SID-format 1) the songs won’t loop 2) the ending of the songs are a bit weird 3) the songs are taken from HVSC 4) and most importantly, they are not emulated but played on the 8580R SID-chip (the way Kjell composed them) on a real C64-setup. Hail authenticity!

A Change For
A Length

Trying the Carousel [A New Life #17]
A Place
After Real
All the Time
Best to You, The
Cakes Taste Good
Carry My Weight
Dark Force
Dream Runner
Drifting Away
Dunk Bang Kraesj
Happiness Room
Happy Days
Hard Times
Heat, The
Here I Come
Hiding My Face
Holding a Hand
Honey Soup
Hurry (Someone Needs Help)
I Hate You
I Wave Goodbye
If It Ain’t Love
I’m Fonkey
In a Funky Place
Left Lane
Life Is a Game (But It Isn’t)
Like a Player
Little Big Man, The
Mad About It
Into My Picture [Mad Mans Dream #10]
Master of the Universe
Mind Escape, The
Mysterious Dance
Never Die
Nor Art or You
Over the Edge
Rope of Plastic
Sea Boble
Seek the Truth
Slow Reactions
Spy Spied Me
Starting an End
That’s MY Girl
This Chair
Touches of Magic
Unlimited Mind
Unlock Your Doors
Use My Fire!
What a Chance
Where Are You

Here’s some suggestions from yours truly, hoping that you can find your way into the world of Kjell. If you like it, I recommend to run his music demos aswell to see his graphics, read his texts, and get into one of the most interesting blends of a human mind and a set of chips.

A song to start with, including many of his styles: Unlimited Mind
Crazy funk: 1001 Ride & Let’s Work
Happyjumpy: The Best to You
Dark action funk: Died & Crime
Rock: That’s MY Girl & Use My Fire! & Atom Guitar
Squirrel jam: Ekorn
Metal funk jazz: The Little Big Man
Rock twist: Out of Nothing
Abstractish: Snofnugg & Surrounded & Touches of Magic & Ann Kristin (Anti Krist) & Clowns & Genuine Madness

Enjoy Kjell, Larger Than Life.

Source: https://chipflip.wordpress.com/2008/04/17/kjell-nordb%C3%B8-we-miss-you/

rest in peace Kjell… flower3

One Comment

Add yours →

  1. Thanks for this entry, this is a very good read, to whoever wrote that (the author isn’t stated). Kjell was an individual which is a rare occassion among computer freaks and I didn’t know him personally. But his works are one of the few I’d consider *real* art on the Commodore 64 and he sure found a place in my black, but big heart. 😉


Leave a rose with a comment ♥

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s