Maskineri (Machinery) is the fourth studio album by Norwegian alternative rock group Kaizers Orchestra, released on February 18 2008. Recorded and mixed during November and December 2007, the album was released on the independent label Petroleum Records in Norway on February 18, 2008 and on Sony BMG in international territories on a later date.
No new material surfaced until the band's Grand Finale Tour in autumn 2006, where two new songs; "Den sjette sansen" and "9 mm" were played, along with "Du og dine er even". Also, during the tour a fan managed to record parts of a soundcheck session at the small concert venue Tobakken in Denmark, where they performed for the first time, two untitled new songs, which were later confirmed to be "Enden av november" and "Du og meg Lou". The songs had been written earlier that day. After the last of the three concerts at the Vega concert hall in Copenhagen, Denmark, the band officially announced that they would take a small sabbatical from acting as the collective group Kaizers Orchestra, so that all members could pursue their own projects until fall 2007. During this period, they negotiated their release from their contract with Universal Germany. They also played three live shows in 2007, despite the aforementioned announcement.
Janove Ottesen and Geir Zahl continued writing songs for Kaizers Orchestra throughout the end of 2006 and into 2007. A 30-track demo was recorded in early 2007.
Many of the songs that had already been played live were completely disassembled and put together again, giving them a different sound and feel compared to the original versions of the songs performed in earlier times.
The lyrics for all songs on the album are individual stories as opposed to interconnecting stories, a staple of a majority of most of their earlier work. Another noticeable difference from their earlier work is also the absence of named characters in the lyrics (such as "Marcello" in Ompa til du dør and "Dieter Meyer" in Maestro), which was a staple of most Kaizers Orchestra compositions until that period.
The album art depicts the six members of Kaizers Orchestra, from left to right; Helge Risa, Geir Zahl, Janove Ottesen, Terje Winterstø Røthing, Rune Solheim and Øivind Storesund, standing in front of an old movie theater. The band's new logo is featured on top of the marquee, and the words "Maskineri" are featured on the marque. On the cover, as well as all promotional photographs for the album, Helge Risa is shown without the band's trademark gas mask, furtherly emphasizing that Maskineri would be a very different album; the cover art for Maskineri marks the first time Helge has been featured on an album cover without the mask. However, the band's old logo featuring the gas mask is shown on a streetlight next to Risa.
On January 18, 2008, the video for "Enden av november" was released on Sony BMG's webpage. On January 21, 2008, Kaizers.no (which was closed due to redesigns) was reopened. The first news post confirmed the final track listing for the album.
On February 11, 2007, the track "Apokalyps meg" was released as a free download from the Kaizers.no, via the Norwegian Sony BMG website. On the following day the song "9mm" was premiered on Norwegian radio. On the morning of Friday, February 15, Janove Ottesen appeared on a radio show and premiered the 13th song on the Maskineri LP, "Romantisk salme i F-dur". The performance was recorded on video. On the same day, they uploaded the entire album for streaming on their MySpace.
On Monday, February 18, the album was put on shelves, although many had already received the album in the mail before the release date. The album was also released on iTunes Plus. The iTunes version also featured "Du og meg Lou" as opposed to the CD version. The very same day, Kaizers held their first ever 2008 gig, for 100 fans who had won a contest for P3Sessions, a Norwegian radio arrangement. The concert was held in Loppen, a café in the Christiania district of Copenhagen, Denmark. The concert was broadcast on the radio. 980,000 tuned in to hear the show, which is a record for Norwegian radio.
On Tuesday, February 26, the final part of the Maskineri behind-the-scenes videos was uploaded to YouTube. In it, the band discussed the upcoming Maskineri tour and how they were going to perform the new songs from the album live.
Since it was released on a Monday, Maskineri didn't enter the Norwegian Topp 40 Album charts until next week. The album made its debut on the charts on the coveted number one spot.
Many fans were disconcerted when it was discovered that Helge Risa appears without his gas mask on the album cover and promotional images, dreading that it had been taken out from the live shows. Also, at their show at Loppen, Risa garnered neither the gas mask or had the traditional picture of Martin Luther and an old lamp on his pump organ. The removal of these items, which to many fans symbolize the essence of Kaizers Orchestra, was confirmed to be untrue, when a fan who had sent a mail to the band about it, received a reply that said that Risa was indisposed to bring them along for the trip. The absence of the mask in promotional images was because the band stated that they wanted to do something new with the promotional material.
On June 20, 2008, the album was confirmed to have reached the platinum mark, 30,000 sales. The band received a commemorative framed platinum disc at the Topp 20 Supershow in Oslo on the very same day.