Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kauhukakara - Eläinten Fanfaari (Finland 2011) [AvantProg] @320K


Originally ripped by spAceLover

The second album of Kauhukakara leaps a huge step forward towards the realms of lovely fantasies. The passed three years have certainly guided the young musicians towards higher planes on the arts of their trade. As the most evident signs of development I would claim more advanced compositions, even tighter thematic appearance of the album, broader use of additional instruments and more extensive use of lyrics in the singing. The album shimmers with musical sophistication and good-hearted humour familiar from the debut album, and time has not changed the basic principles of the sound drastically.
-Eetu Pellonpää (Prog Archives)-


01. Fanfaari Eläimille - Fanfare for The Animals (4:19)
02. Kasinorppa - Casino-Seal (4:18)
03. Lehmilammen Valssi - Waltz Of The Cowpond (4:10)
04. Kierähtelevä Gaselli - The Spinning Gazelle (3:32)
05. Laiskiainen Stadissa - A Sloth in The City (3:31)
06. Dromedaarin Posetiivihurjastelut - Dromedary´s Hurdy-Gurdy Cruising (4:34)
07. Mäyränkummun Tragedia - The Tragedy of Badger Hill (3:37)
08. Pingviinien Marssi - March of The Penguins (6:03)
09. Majavan Soidintanssi - Beaver´s Mating Dance (5:57)
10. Oravan Elämää - Squirrel´s Life (3:19)

Joonas Kuusisto: acoustic bass, backing vocals
Pauli Lyytinen: tenor, soprano and bass saxophone,backing vocals
Anni Elif Egecioglu: vocals, cello
Tuomas A. Turunen: piano, backing vocals

Additional instruments by Kauhukakara: harmonium, prepared piano, balafon, kemence, mey, glockenspiel, percussive, analog synthesizers

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lars Hollmer - Tonöga (Sweden 1985) [AvantProg] @320


For 1985's Tonöga, Lars Hollmer brought a few friends into the Chickenhouse to help out here and there -- notably Zamlas guitarist Eino Haapala and drummer Hans Bruniusson, as well as trumpeter Kalle Eriksson and soprano saxophonist Ulf Wallander. The musical palette is even wider and deeper than the preceding Från Natt Idag, ranging from the full-on Zamla prog of "Slutet Pa Tangon" (sounding like a Familjesprickor outtake) to the gentle lullaby of "Höstvisa," the tick-tocking percussion experiment of "Klipp en Apa," and the nearly funky worldbeat of "Karlafrique."
Elsewhere, meters and harmonics are particularly adventurous in "Lilla Pas du Valse" and the title track, "Damernas Rumango" is a fairly straightforward prog tango, and "Arvevals" is an accordion waltz accented by a spectral flutelike melody. As the ever-changing program wraps up with "Simflageldans," a tune as engaging as anything dreamed up by Simon Jeffes at the Penguin Cafe, and the dramatic "Harmonium III," with an emphatic march-like cadence and dramatic crescendo, one could only guess what Hollmer might dream up next, and it turned out to be a leap into bandleading with the Looping Home Orchestra's 1987 release, Vendeltid. [Several selections from Tonöga were later included in the 1993 single-CD Hollmer comp entitled Lars Hollmer 80-88 (later re-released as The Siberian Circus), and in 1998 Resource Records included the entire album in the very worthwhile two-CD set Tonöga/Från Natt Idag/Vendeltid. Among the bonus tracks on this set is a hyper live version of "Lilla Pas du Valse," retitled "Alfa Beta Pas du Valse" and somewhat mysteriously presented as a bonus track to Vendeltid rather than Tonöga.
-Dave Lynch (All Music Guide)-

Another amazig solo album by Lars Hollmer of Samla Mammas Manna. The album features a lot of styles and emotions, all delivered with unique Lars Hollmer style. I would say the first part of the album is more experimental (Onk Kch Onk Kch being the example), the second part contains more melodical and traditional music which is a mixture of folk, prog, RIO, jazz, tango and God knows what else. There is a lot of accordion all over the album, my favorite tracks are Lilla Pas du Valse & Harmonium III, but the rest is also very solid. Having heard only 2 Hollmer solo albums (this and Vendeltid) I must admit that Vendeltid is a little bit omore consistent than Tonöga. 3.5 stars really but I like it very much so I give it 4.
-Yurkspb2 (Prog Archives)-


01. Onk Kch Onk Kch (3:44)
02. Slutet På Tangqn (3:25)
03. Höstvisa (Autumn Song) (3:28)
04. Klipp en Apa (2:53)
05. Karlafrigue (3:55)
06. Lilla Pas du Valse (2:26)
07. Tonöga (3:02)
08. Damernas Rumango (3:25)
09. Arvevals (2:42)
10. Skiss M. Brest O Segosero (1:48)
11. Annu Ingen Pelle (1:56)
12. Rindatröst (3:52)
13. Simfågeldans (3:44)
14. Harmonium III (5:27)
15. Originalexperiment (Bonus) (1:19)

Lars Hollmer: accordion, keyboards, vocals
Guest musicians:
Alva Strand Hollmer: vocals
Eino Haapala: guitar, mandolin
Gabriel Strand Hollm: vocals
Hasse Bruniusson: drums
Kalle Eriksson: trumpet, congas
Mattias Jonsson: vocals
Ulf Wallander: soprano saxophone

DISCOGRAPHY:

Solo albums:
XII Sibiriska Cyklar (1981)
Vill Du Höra Mer (1982)
Från Natt Idag (1983)
Joggingcharleston Singel (1984)
Tonöga (1985)
Vendeltid (1987)

The Siberian Circus (compilation, 1992)
Vandelmässa (1993)
Andetag (1998)
Utsikter (2000)
Autokomp A(nd)more (2001)
SOLA: Lars Hollmer's Global Home Project (2002)
Viandra (2007)

With Samla Mammas Manna:
Samla Mammas Manna (1971)
Måltid (1973)
Klossa Knapitatet (1974)
Snorungarnas Symfoni (1975)
Kaka (1999)
Dear Mamma (2002)

With Zamla Mammaz Manna:
Schlagerns Mystik / För Äldre Nybegynnare (1978)
Familjesprickor (1980)

With von Zamla:
Zamlaranamma (1982)
No Make Up (1983)
1983 (1999, rec. live 1983)  

With Ramlösa Kvällar:
Ramlösa Kvällar (Nights Without Frames) (1977)

With Fem Söker En Skatt:
Fem Söker En Skatt (1995)

With Looping Home Orchestra:
Vendeltid (1987)
Door Floor Something Window (live, 1993)

With Accordion Tribe:
Accordion Tribe (live, 1998)
Sea of Reeds (2002)
Lunghorn Twist (2006)

With Fanfare Pourpour:
Karusell musik (2007)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lars Hollmer - Andetag (Sweden 1997) [AvantProg] @320K


All the depth, beauty, charm, and wonder of Lars Hollmer's music can be found in 1997's Andetag, recipient of a well-deserved award from the Swedish equivalent of the Grammys. Although one can hear many musical elements throughout the CD, it is a disservice to Hollmer to describe him merely as a synthesist of diverse genres and styles into some form of pastiche. His compositional sense is too strong for that, matched by his ability to tug at the emotions with the dramatic buildup, the warm textures, and of course the lovely melodies.
Listeners unacquainted with the Swedish composer/ keyboardist might conceivably be put off by the initial moments of the first track, "Stråk", with its dirgelike tempo and orchestral keyboard overlays, which, if dragged out too long, could indeed have been quite a dose of prog-minded heaviosity. But even here, the touches of accordion, bells, and violin leaven any tendencies toward majestic overload and, like so much of Hollmer's music, impart a light touch. And this is merely an opening vignette for a long and varied journey, ranging from the floating multi-tracked vocal piece "Kvar Om Igen", with an intimate flavor and melody reminiscent of Robert Wyatt (on a tune like Shleep's "Maryan", for example) and "Asianet" (which, as you might guess from the title, melds Hollmer's keyboard drone, pulsing accordion, and a clip-clopping rhythm to a strong Asian folk-flavored melody — perhaps foreshadowing his future work with SOLA in Japan) to "Cirkus I," sort of a demented speedy fanfare-polka on steroids.
Yet the longer multi-sectioned pieces that smoothly shift gears following their initial thematic statements into new areas of melody, harmony, and rhythm are the true standouts, and make the case that Hollmer should be considered a composer in the league of Piazzolla (or at least what might've happened if the Argentinean tango master had somehow wandered into Univers Zero's Ceux du Dehors session at Etienne Conod's studio in Switzerland and begun ordering the group to lighten up just a tad).
There is a compositional integrity to pieces like "Now", "Aska", and the moody closing "Videpiano", with the listener brought to unexpected yet somehow familiar territory. And to top it all off, there are those melodies that nag at the memory — you've heard them before, but where? Certainly never in music quite like this, with the drive of rock and the evocativeness of European folk, along with a seasoning of classical music's sophistication (but not its seriousness).
Andetag is somewhat less quirky than some of Hollmer's previous solo works — there is a richly consistent sound throughout the album (which includes instrumental contributions from bassist Wolfgang Salomon, violinist Santiago Jimenez, Samlas drummer Hans Bruniusson, and UZ/Von Zamla bassoonist/oboist Michel Berkmanns) and the whimsy is kept in check, and it doesn't sound as if he reached for the closest kitchen implement within reach to use as a percussive device.
One might argue, then, that Andetag is somewhat less "fun" than Tonöga, for example, but this also represents what Hollmer can achieve when his vision is at its most cohesive: music that is truly unified from start to finish despite 16 individual pieces (from one to no longer than seven minutes in length) and the composer's globetrotting sense of genre and style. With the typically paradoxical mix of power and understatement, Andetag is pure Lars Hollmer, and an indispensable part of his catalog.

-by Dave Lynch-


01. Stråk
02. Kvar Om Igen
03. Now
04. Asianet
05. Tot Brass
06. Cirkus I
07. Cirkus II
08. Försök
09. Flyg O Forget
10. Aska
11. Nya Tag
12. Zwei Kneipe
13. Ovnuserg I+II
14. Samma Dag
15. Teknoloo
16. Videpiano

Lars Hollmer: Arcordion,Percussion, Keyboards, Vocals
Wolfgang Salomon: Bass, Bass Kalimba, Cymbal
Santiago Jiminez: Violin
Hans Bruniusson: Drums
Michel Berkmanns: Oboe
Alba and Rinda Strand Hollmer: Choir

DISCOGRAPHY:

Solo albums:
XII Sibiriska Cyklar (1981)
Vill Du Höra Mer (1982)
Från Natt Idag (1983)
Joggingcharleston Singel (1984)
Tonöga (1985)
Vendeltid (1987)

The Siberian Circus (compilation, 1992)
Vandelmässa (1993)
Andetag (1998)
Utsikter (2000)
Autokomp A(nd)more (2001)
SOLA: Lars Hollmer's Global Home Project (2002)
Viandra (2007)

With Samla Mammas Manna:
Samla Mammas Manna (1971)
Måltid (1973)
Klossa Knapitatet (1974)
Snorungarnas Symfoni (1975)
Kaka (1999)
Dear Mamma (2002)

With Zamla Mammaz Manna:
Schlagerns Mystik / För Äldre Nybegynnare (1978)
Familjesprickor (1980)

With von Zamla:
Zamlaranamma (1982)
No Make Up (1983)
1983 (1999, rec. live 1983)  

With Ramlösa Kvällar:
Ramlösa Kvällar (Nights Without Frames) (1977)

With Fem Söker En Skatt:
Fem Söker En Skatt (1995)

With Looping Home Orchestra:
Vendeltid (1987)
Door Floor Something Window (live, 1993)

With Accordion Tribe:
Accordion Tribe (live, 1998)
Sea of Reeds (2002)
Lunghorn Twist (2006)

With Fanfare Pourpour:
Karusell musik (2007)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pokerface - Transeo (Sweden 2011) [Avant-Prog] {Free Group Promotion}


FREE GROUP PROMOTION

Pokerface was formed in 1996 by Stefan Heidevik and Michael Horvath as an experimental hip-hop-outfit. Heidevik drew upon his multitude of influences to create odd sounding soundscapes to which Horvath contributed vocals. The duo released a demo in -97 and shortly after, Horvath left to work on other projects. Heidevik continued producing material and in -99 he released the EP "Bedtimestories" in January and the album "Bedtimestories of weird science" in December. The album expanded on the material of the EP and gave hints of Heideviks chaotic and atonal signature-sound, which would dominate later releases.

The latest album, "Transeo", features both studio material as well as live-recordings and the music merges elements of electronica, jazz-fusion and progressive rock. Transeo features guest-perfomances from jazz guitarist Bryan Baker (Steps Ahead, Yellow Jackets) and free jazz trumpet player Mike Lloyd (Freddie Wadling) amongst many others. The album was met by positive reviews from the press with one reviewer stating: "Achieving this type of experimental and truly progressive music requires courage and vision and it seems that Pokerface have both ingredients in abundance".
(Patrik Stigsson - Kulturbloggen.com)

Heidevik is currently working on new material that feature further collaborations with Baker as well as drummer Morgan Ågren (Mats/Morgan Band, Zappas Universe, Fredrik Thordendahl [of Meshuggah]).



01. Hypocrites 5:06
02. Krtek Ve Snu 5:02
03. Buildings featuring Mike Lloyd 6:30
04. Beginnings and Endings 7:18
05. Quicksand-Concrete - Live 4:17
06. Like Love - Live 4:36
07. Miss You - Live 4:14
08. Really Real Reality featuring Michael Horvath - Live 3:37
09. For Those Who Have Fallen - Live 3:56
10. Spider featuring Bryan Baker 6:26


Stefan Heidevik - Synthesizer, programming, glockenspiel, percussion, vox, production
Additional musicians:
Olle Prim - Drums
Mattis Karlsson - Guitar
Per Eriksson - Saxophone, clarinet
Bryan Baker - Guitar
Anna Sahlin - Cello
Karin Svensson Nordberg - Violin
Mike Lloyd - Trumpet
Michael Horvath - Vox

Mastering:
Tracks 1-9 Andreas Karlsson - Studio Nonolith.
Track 10 Stefan Heidevik - Red Room

Co-producer:
Andreas Karlsson - Studio Nonolith

Soundengineers:
Stefan Heidevik and Andreas Karlsson tracks 1-10
Pontus Olofsson - Live audio - tracks 5-9
Gustav Brandén - Recording - tracks 5-9

Coverdesign:
Tobias Solem

Album Preview

Live

Music Video


Listen (and buy) the music here! (Facebook)
or buy directly here in Bandcamp



Let's support the new and talented artists!


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Asturias - Legend of Gold Wind (Japan 2011) [ProgRock] @320


Just over four years on from their last album, Marching Grass On The Hill, the internationally-celebrated Acoustic Asturias return with their third full-length release. The album's themes are the earth and the wind, through which the group express the cultural influences that have blown from Asia and Europe to faraway Japan over 12 stunning tracks; organic, dramatic and graceful, this is a powerful release that takes the listener on a real musical journey.



01 - Legend
02 - Dance In Gold Highland
03 - Betta Splendens
04 - Frozen Memories
05 - Perpetual Motion
06 - Juhannus
07 - Kaikoh
08 - Gren-Bosatsu
09 - Luca In Grass Wave
10 - Luca & Stella Into The Dark
11 - Kingdom Of Wind
12 - Kagerou


Tei Sena: violin
Kaori Tsutsui: clarinet, recorder
Yoshihiro Kawagoe: piano
Yoh Ohyama: guitar


Friday, December 9, 2011

Chris Judge Smith - Curly's Airships (England 2000) [ProgRock] @320


Perhaps one of the most ambitious projects attempted by any artist for many years "Curly's Airships" is a conceptual song-story by occasional Peter Hammill collaborator Judge Smith. Based on the ill-fated R101 airship, this impressive work was six years in the making and features a cast including Hammill, Arthur Brown, Pete Brown, David Jackson, Hugh Banton and Paul Roberts.
Before you let the word 'concept' put you off, the calibre and ability of the musicians saves the album from becoming tedious. In fact, it's most entertaining. The performances are enthusiastic and well-executed, with the second disc providing the most satisfying moments. Musically, one can draw comparisons with Frank Zappa's more complex work, but that doesn't really do it justice.
Aside from the originality of the music, the detailed historical research by Smith almost justifies purchase alone - a lavishly illustrated 48-page booklet features informative historical background. A wonderful and well-crafted work for which Judge Smith deserves much praise.

CD1
01 - Voices from a Crystal Set
02 - Walking Her Out
03 - Curly Takes Us Up
04 - Drifting About Like a Bad Smell
05 - Curly in the Clouds
06 - A Capital Idea
07 - A Shrieking of Aluminium
08 - Curly on Civvy Street
09 - That Imperial Airship Scheme
10 - From the Sidelines
11 - A Kindly Sort of Cove
12 - Curly at Cardington
13 - A Creature of Grace
14 - A Byronic Sort of Blighter

CD2
01 - Big Chief and some Minor Bugs
02 - The Canadian Run
03 - Conan Doyle and the Flying Sieve
04 - Horrors at Hendon
05 - As Safe as a House
06 - A Ship of Fools
07 - The Night Before
08 - The Morning After
09 - Bedford to Hastings
10 - Hastings to Beauvais
11 - The Muffled Drum
12 - The Final Taboo


JUDGE SMITH: Vocals and Bass & Drums
JOHN ELLIS: Electric Guitars & Ebow, Mandolin
HUGH BANTON: Organs & Piano
DAVID SHAW-PARKER: Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Vocals & Actor
ARTHUR BROWN: Vocals
PETE BROWN: Percussion & Vocals
PETER HAMMILL, PAUL ROBERTS, PAUL THOMPSON: Vocals
DAVID JACKSON: Saxophones & Whistle
JOE HINCHLIFF: Accordion
RIKKI PATTEN: Supplementary Guitar
IAN FORDHAM: Bass Guitar & Double bass
RENE VAN COMMENEE: Tabla, Ghatam & Tambura
TAMMO HEIKENS: Sitar & Tambura
NICK LUCAS: Vocals & Actor
GWENDOLYN GRAY, MIKE BELL: Actor
THE MYSTERY MARCHING BAND

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Samla Mammas Manna - Kaka (1999 Sweden) [AvantProg] @320


SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA was formed in Uppsala, Sweden in 1969. The last offspring of SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA, VON ZAMLA, did their last album "No Make Up!" in 1984, so it has gone 15 years since then. Now the long awaited reunion on album for SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA is finally here. VON ZAMLA however had little to do with the band you can hear on this album. The line-up on this album made their last album "Snorungarnas symfoni" in 1976, so actually it's 23 years since they did an album together. Therefore you can understand that it is with great pleasure and high expectations I started listen to this album.
If you liked SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA back then I promise you that you won't be disappointed. It is with satisfaction I notice that not much has happened with their music over the years. The playfulness, the craziness, the humour, the experimentation's and the improvisations is ever present and it sounds just like it did back then. This is said in a positive way. I don't think that anyone would've wanted SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA to take on another direction in their music. The only thing that has changed is that they're even better musicians today and that the sound on the production has improved since the 70's. 
If you haven't had the joy of hearing SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA before I can tell you that their music is a blend of mostly instrumental 70's progressive rock, jazz-fusion, avant-garde, RIO (Rock In Opposition) and World Music.
I had
the opportunity to have a long discussion once with the drummer Hans Bruniusson. He talked a lot about musicians he admired and recommended me to listen to bands and musicians such as ART BEARS, Chris CUTLER, ETRON FOU, UNIVERS ZERO, Albert MARCOEUR and Fred FRITH. I think that much of their music is also reflected in SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA's music.
The material
on this album is a mix of live recordings ranging from 1993-98 and new recordings done in Lars Hollmer's legendary studio "The Chickenhouse". The cover artwork "Ha Kakan Kvar" is made by Tage Åsén who also did the art work for SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA's albums "Måltid" (1973), "Klossa Knapitatet" (1974) and "Schlagerns mystik" (1978). This is without doubt one of the best albums in 1999. If you're a fan of SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA you won't have to think twice: buy this album immediately. If you haven't heard them before this album is a perfect starter. Highly recommended!
-Greger (Prog Archives)-

01 - Stämma Lite (0:29)
02 - Lyckliga Titanic (5:12)
03 - Oh Sa Masalana Jämfört Med Ålman River (2:03)
04 - Första Ikarien (6:39)
05 - Reptilgarna (2:16)
06 - Satori (3:28)
07 - Vegetariskt Impro,Svar Direkt (2:38)
08 - Frestelsens Café (8:14)
09 - Tung Krupa Tejpraga Tra La La (2:36)
10 - Andra Ikarien (3:33)
11 - Även Oss Får Tiden Åldras Spasmodskij Engelbert Humperdinck'Blues (5:12)
12 - Hatman (2:28)
13 - Tredje Ikarien (5:30)
14 - OQ ( 0:19)

Coste Apetrea: guitar, bouzouki, veena, voice
Hasse Bruniusson: drums, percussion, marimba, voice
Lars Hollmer: keyboards, accordion, melodica, voice
Lars Krantz: bass, voice 
 
DISCOGRAPHY:

Solo albums:
XII Sibiriska Cyklar (1981)
Vill Du Höra Mer (1982)
Från Natt Idag (1983)
Joggingcharleston Singel (1984)
Tonöga (1985)Vendeltid (1987)
The Siberian Circus (compilation, 1992)
Vandelmässa (1993)
Andetag (1998)
Utsikter (2000)
Autokomp A(nd)more (2001)
SOLA: Lars Hollmer's Global Home Project (2002)
Viandra (2007)

With Samla Mammas Manna:
Samla Mammas Manna (1971)
Måltid (1973)
Klossa Knapitatet (1974)
Snorungarnas Symfoni (1975)
Kaka (1999)
Dear Mamma (2002)

With Zamla Mammaz Manna:
Schlagerns Mystik / För Äldre Nybegynnare (1978)
Familjesprickor (1980)

With von Zamla:
Zamlaranamma (1982)
No Make Up (1983)
1983 (1999, rec. live 1983)  

With Ramlösa Kvällar:
Ramlösa Kvällar (Nights Without Frames) (1977)

With Fem Söker En Skatt:
Fem Söker En Skatt (1995)

With Looping Home Orchestra:
Vendeltid (1987)
Door Floor Something Window (live, 1993)

With Accordion Tribe:
Accordion Tribe (live, 1998)
Sea of Reeds (2002)
Lunghorn Twist (2006)

With Fanfare Pourpour:
Karusell musik (2007)

Humble Grumble - Flanders Fields (Belgium 2011) [AvantProg] @320K


If you wish for an album to elevate your spirits, if you want happy and jovial music, if you want groove, excitement, jazziness and a bit of eclecticism, you're in the right "field".
Humble Grumble from Belgium started off as the folk group Dearest Companion in 1996. As this band dissipated, Humble Grumble came into being and have released three albums thus far, Flanders Fields being their first on the fabulous Italian AltrOck label. The lineup here consists of 8 members with a big cast of guest musicians. The album has 11 tracks on it, two of which are instrumentals, though you'll find a lot of their exciting instrumental prowess on all their songs.
Before addressing specifically the songs on here, the music on the Flanders Fields is as I said, of a positive and uplifting nature. It reminded me of the likes of Frank Zappa, Miriodor, Panzerpappa and Caravan. There are diverse styles meshed up together and confronted, silliness and humour, coolness and grooviness, jazziness and rock; all are well put to use in here.
-avestin (Prog Archives)-


01. Sirens Dance
02. Aging Backwards
03. Flanders Fields
04. Sleepless Night
05. Horny
06. Little Bird
07. Duck On A Walk
08. The Greatest Kick Of The Day
09. Never Lose Your Mind
10. Love Song
11. Purple Frog


Jonathan Callens: drums, backing voices
Jouni Isoherranen: bass, backing voices
Gabor Humble Vörö: guitar, voices
Pol Mareen: saxophone
Pedro Guridi: clarinets, backing voices
Pieter Claus: marimba, vibraphone, percussions
Lisa Jordens: backing voices (Track 3, 5, 6, 7, 8)
Hanneke Osterlijnck: backing voices (Track 3, 6)
Joriska Vanhaelewyn: backing voices (Track 2)
Juan Carlos Torres Iturra: Spanish voices (Track 5)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Zamla Mammaz Manna - Famijlesprickor (Sweden 1980) [AvantProg] @320


This album has grown on me a lot - and I liked it to begin with. After seeing their ProgDay performance, coupled with hearing this album and Kaka, S/Zamla has quickly become one of my favorite bands. They take a joyous, high-energy approach to some fairly complex, very proggy music, and add in a great sense of humor to boot.

The opening track, "Five Single Combats", is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Dominique nailed it with the "cartoon on speed" description. However I've got to take exception to his description of "Ventilation Calculation" as verging on banality - the section of that song where they blow across bottle mouths to generate the melody is one of the coolest things I've ever heard. "Papa (with right of veto)" throws some twisted reggae into the mix, and "The Thrall" mixes avant-sounding vocal noises with sparse, improvised instrumentation. There are sections of "The Farmhand" which sound somewhat like Magma. This album has a bit of everything.

The keyboard work is fantastic throughout, the guitarist plays plenty of tasty leads and the rhythm section are certainly no slouches either. I'd recommend this CD to nearly all prog fans, unless you're put off by mostly instrumental music or hate avant prog enough to let the occasional bits here and there stop you. Those who cringed at the "cartoon" description might not enjoy the band's sense of humor. But I have a hard time imagining anyone who couldn't find something to like about this disc.
-Bob Eichler-


01. Five single combats 05.52
02. Ventilation calculation 05.05
03. The forge 05.04
04. The thrall 05.05
05. The panting short story 03.52
06. Pappa (with the right of veto) 04.27
07. The farmhand 07.33
08. Kernel in short and long castling 05.40 


Lars Hollmer: keyboards, accordion, vocals
Eino Haapala: guitar, vocals
Lars Krantz: bass, vocals
Vilgot Hansson: drums, percussion
Hans Bruniusson: drums, percussion


DISCOGRAPHY:

Solo albums:
XII Sibiriska Cyklar (1981)
Vill Du Höra Mer (1982)
Från Natt Idag (1983)
Joggingcharleston Singel (1984)
Tonöga (1985)Vendeltid (1987)
The Siberian Circus (compilation, 1992)
Vandelmässa (1993)
Andetag (1998)
Utsikter (2000)
Autokomp A(nd)more (2001)
SOLA: Lars Hollmer's Global Home Project (2002)
Viandra (2007)

With Samla Mammas Manna:
Samla Mammas Manna (1971)
Måltid (1973)
Klossa Knapitatet (1974)
Snorungarnas Symfoni (1975)
Kaka (1999)
Dear Mamma (2002)

With Zamla Mammaz Manna:
Schlagerns Mystik / För Äldre Nybegynnare (1978)
Familjesprickor (1980)

With von Zamla:
Zamlaranamma (1982)
No Make Up (1983)
1983 (1999, rec. live 1983)  

With Ramlösa Kvällar:
Ramlösa Kvällar (Nights Without Frames) (1977)

With Fem Söker En Skatt:
Fem Söker En Skatt (1995)

With Looping Home Orchestra:
Vendeltid (1987)
Door Floor Something Window (live, 1993)

With Accordion Tribe:
Accordion Tribe (live, 1998)
Sea of Reeds (2002)
Lunghorn Twist (2006)

With Fanfare Pourpour:
Karusell musik (2007)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lars Hollmer - Vandelmässa (Sweden 1993) [AvantProg] @320


Lars Hollmer is the keyboards player and accordionist of SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA, a musical legend who once was, during the Seventies, the swedish representative of the Rock In Opposition movement. He was also involved with various bands, RAMLOSA KVALLAR, VON ZAMLA or THE LOOPING ORCHESTRA amongst others, without forgetting his own solo career. His works mix folk music, Progressive rock and new musics. His music is full of joy and freshness, blending simplicity and research. Published on the defunct AYAA label, "Vandelmassa" is now reissued on the Gazul label. This is a collection of songs composed between 1972 and 1993, revisiting all the stylistical eras he experienced. An ideal introduction to the particular universe of Lars HOLLMER. To be discovered !

01. Träumeri (4:20)
02. Va pappa sa (0:50)
03. Växeltango (6:01)
04. Gåvan (3:23)
05. Sväng (2:19)
06. Gospel F.A.T. Jesus (3:22)
07. Tittut (0:21)
08. Dä ögon (2:17)
09. Pompen (3:09)
10. Vattenmusik (1:34)
11. Valgrotta (1:50)
12. Celestavals (3:10)
13. Alicetheme II (1:35)
14. Teatime (Original) (0:59)
15. Doina (3:48)
16. Tom lilla Tom (0:47)
17. Unaffair (3:20)
18. Okformeimpro, for you? (4:00)
19. Harmonium I (3:13)
20. Sarasnoa (1:47)
21. Sometime (3:25)
22. Südaf (4:37)
23. Årstidsvisan (3:33)
24. Franksa valsen (2:36)
25. Novelty (5:04)
26. Door (0:02)

Lars Hollmer: accordion, keyboards, percussion, melodica, vocals 
Eino Haapala: guitar 
Gabriel Strand Hollm: percussion, vocals 
Hasse Bruniusson: drums 
Lars Krantz: bass 
Olle Sundin: keyboards 
Olof Hellberg: drums 
Rinda Strand Hollmer: vocals 
Ulf Wallander: soprano saxophone, flute 
Wolfgang Salomon: alto vocals, bass, percussion


DISCOGRAPHY:

Solo albums:
XII Sibiriska Cyklar (1981)
Vill Du Höra Mer (1982)
Från Natt Idag (1983)
Joggingcharleston Singel (1984)
Tonöga (1985)
Vendeltid (1987)

The Siberian Circus (compilation, 1992)
Vandelmässa (1993)
Andetag (1998)
Utsikter (2000)
Autokomp A(nd)more (2001)
SOLA: Lars Hollmer's Global Home Project (2002)
Viandra (2007)

With Samla Mammas Manna:
Samla Mammas Manna (1971)
Måltid (1973)
Klossa Knapitatet (1974)
Snorungarnas Symfoni (1975)
Kaka (1999)
Dear Mamma (2002)

With Zamla Mammaz Manna:
Schlagerns Mystik / För Äldre Nybegynnare (1978)
Familjesprickor (1980)

With von Zamla:
Zamlaranamma (1982)
No Make Up (1983)
1983 (1999, rec. live 1983)  

With Ramlösa Kvällar:
Ramlösa Kvällar (Nights Without Frames) (1977)

With Fem Söker En Skatt:
Fem Söker En Skatt (1995)

With Looping Home Orchestra:
Vendeltid (1987)
Door Floor Something Window (live, 1993)

With Accordion Tribe:
Accordion Tribe (live, 1998)
Sea of Reeds (2002)
Lunghorn Twist (2006)

With Fanfare Pourpour:
Karusell musik (2007)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lars Hollmer - Från Natt Idag (Sweden 1983) [AvantProg] @320K


During the '80s, Swedish keyboardist/accordionist Lars Hollmer set off on his own path separate from Samla Mammas Manna and their offshoots, and fully hit his stride with the release of 1983's Från Natt Idag, a sometimes quirky slice of Scandinavian folk-flavored avant-prog rock on which Hollmer sang and played all the instruments, recording alone at night in his Chickenhouse studio. The accordion and Hollmer's occasional vocals impart warmth to the music, which is sometimes dominated by the type of electronic drum rhythms and synth tones that characterized the '70s-'80s prog era. Yet during this period Hollmer also used his personal studio to sculpt sound and atmosphere in a manner similar to Brian Eno -- "Skar" slots into Från Natt Idag in a way not too dissimilar from the way a track like "Zawinul/Lava" fit into Another Green World. And Hollmer followed up "Skar" with "Optimistbeat," a multi-tracked dose of spirited prog-folk with prominent accordion melody and a bridge of 100 percent pure rock & roll. "Nationsjazz," with its driving meter alternating between 6/8 and 5/8, would prove a killer tune for Hollmer's SOLA band to cover in a Tokyo studio nearly two decades later; the quintessentially uncategorizable "Fur Munju" (neo-classical ska fusion?) would get the multi-tracked Hollmer treatment here while also showing up in a full-band sextet arrangement on Von Zamla's No Make Up!, also recorded at the Chickenhouse in 1983 and released the following year. [Several selections from Från Natt Idag were later included in the 1993 single-CD comp entitled Lars Hollmer 80-88 (later re-released as The Siberian Circus), and in 1998 Resource Records included the entire album in the very worthwhile two-CD set Tonöga/Från Natt Idag/Vendeltid, which included bonus tracks.]
-AMG-


01. Hoppas Att Det Går (2:45)
02. Mowiee (3:26)
03. Skiss Till Jazz (1:51)
04. Liturgiskt Beat (4:30)
05. Persisk Park (3:21)
06. Soon Song (2:27)
07. Ett Tungt OK (3:18)
08. Skär (2:09)
09. Optimiistbeat (4:10)
10. Nationsjazz (3:22)
11. Inte Quanta (2:29)
12. Tango Noll (3:40)
13. Mörkrädd Vals (3:03)
14. Für Munju (2:52)


Lars Hollmer: accordion, keyboards, drums & percussion, vocals, everything else


DISCOGRAPHY:

Solo albums:
XII Sibiriska Cyklar (1981)
Vill Du Höra Mer (1982)
Från Natt Idag (1983)
Joggingcharleston Singel (1984)
Tonöga (1985)
Vendeltid (1987)
The Siberian Circus (compilation, 1992)
Vandelmässa (1993)
Andetag (1998)
Utsikter (2000)
Autokomp A(nd)more (2001)
SOLA: Lars Hollmer's Global Home Project (2002)
Viandra (2007)

With Samla Mammas Manna:
Samla Mammas Manna (1971)
Måltid (1973)
Klossa Knapitatet (1974)
Snorungarnas Symfoni (1975)
Kaka (1999)
Dear Mamma (2002)

With Zamla Mammaz Manna:
Schlagerns Mystik / För Äldre Nybegynnare (1978)
Familjesprickor (1980)

With von Zamla:
Zamlaranamma (1982)
No Make Up (1983)
1983 (1999, rec. live 1983)  

With Ramlösa Kvällar:
Ramlösa Kvällar (Nights Without Frames) (1977)

With Fem Söker En Skatt:
Fem Söker En Skatt (1995)

With Looping Home Orchestra:
Vendeltid (1987)
Door Floor Something Window (live, 1993)

With Accordion Tribe:
Accordion Tribe (live, 1998)
Sea of Reeds (2002)
Lunghorn Twist (2006)

With Fanfare Pourpour:
Karusell musik (2007)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Connivence - Connivence (Vinyl Rip) (Canada 1977) [ProgFolk] @320K


First record of a group that is more of an amalgam of artistes linking under the Connivence name in order to make an album, this relative uncommon procedure delivered three albums that are worthy of the proghead's interest, especially so if he is into Folk Prog. Basically a blend of folk-duo Nous Autres and jazz rock group Oasis, it also includes some solo English-speaking songwriters (but French-singing) who are playing with those two groups. Sounds confusing? Well, Kinda! But these guys were all acquaintances from the Ottawa river valley, just across the federal capital of Ottawa.

After reading the first paragraph, you'd have to believe that this album would be very eclectic, uneven and with a wide spectrum, but actually, the album is fairly focused and most of the tracks are folk, folk rock or folk-derived prog. So eclectic this album is but for its own good: they folk-jazz-rock is sometimes head-twirling, at times virtuosic and all the time very charming.

The opening progressive instrumental jig (aptly called Gigue) is calling your ears to attention right away, with the hippy-folk idealist Dans Ta Fenêtre being a stark contrast in sobriety. With Boyau De La Liberté reminding you of the opener (minus the open jig) and its violin reminiscent of Kansas' Robby Steinhard, the album is made to please even the most demanding proghead. Even if Grande Valse is fairly cheesy, Sable De Lucerne is modern classic-influenced and the tracks sounds like a RIO marriage between Univers Zero and early Maneige. And with the superb Villageoise track closing off the first side of this Ottawa voyage, you realize that once again, Quebec still has many hidden gems still waiting for Cd releases.

But with the second side to go, opening strangely with Happy Endings (an instrumental symphonic-jazzy jig) which is like a cross between Maneige and Aquarelle, again the second track is leading us in a very sober folk couple of tracks written by folk duo Nous Autres, one of which can be likened to Anthony Phillips' works on his "private parts and pieces" series. The album closes on a head-twisting pastoral symphonic Lapin, which fittingly ends this great album.

While not a real masterpiece of Quebecois music, the first Connivence album is very worthy of any proghead's interest and it is a shame their albums (no Cd re-issues and vinyls getting scarce) are getting hard to find, because even most Quebecois seem to have forgotten about this amalgam of artistes, which will release two more album under the same formula, but with different participants.
-Sean Trane- Prog Archives


01. La Gigue
02. Dans Ta Fenêtre
03. Le Boyau En Liberté
04. La Dernière Grande Valse
05. Le Pit De Sable De Lucerne
06. La Villageoise En Ville
07. Happy Endings
08. Blanc-Blême
09. L'eau De La Vie
10. Lapin


Paul Pugnaire: guitars, composition, vocals
Marc Sommer: bass, vocals
Jean-Luc Gotteland: keyboards, vocals
Thierry Durbano: drums, percussions
Lionel Dugas: vocals, guitars  


Connivence - Connivence II (Vinyl Rip) (Canada 1979) [ProgFolk] @320K


If Connivence's first album was a rather confusing compilation of tracks from different artistes into a collective, the second album released the next year is much more of real album from a real artiste. Behind the astounding and superb watermill artwork of the cover, we're still dealing with pastoral folk, even if the folk gets naval as well with a couple of tracks. Neither Soucy or Oasis cared to participate to this effort, leaving Steve Burman and the duo Nous Autres and newcomer Guy LaFrance to fill the album, which gains in cohesiveness compared to its predecessor.

Nous Autres contributes to pure or trad folk songs like Quebec Au Printemps (a cheesy ode to Quebec that was obviously aimed at airplay) and Le Bateau or Une Goutte De Sang. But most of the tracks are hovering between folk rock and folk jazz, induced by Syncope's presence in backing Burman and LaFrance (see 1959 and Dac). Sometimes you'll hear chunks of early Harmonium influences, but then again the head-twisting Saskatoon is close to a jig in its last developments.

In the typical Quebec fashion, delicious female vocals are present, here France Charron on four tracks) including the delicious Le Mat, set to cello and strings, and the superb flute-laden Chanson D'Amour pour France is a Burman & Syncope tune with some jazz arrangements, but Dac and Cocottes De Kazou are much in the same mould. Nous Autres is back with the superb S'Il Y A De L'Amour that can only send shivers down your back. And wait until you get to the closing stunner Accouche Qu'On Baptise to get the same shivers.

Since these albums have never received a Cd reissue (legit or boot), there is only one hope for most of progheads to one day hear Connivence's first two collaborations, and that hope's name is ProgQuebec, but Connivence's vinyls are still quite cheap , the only trick is to ship them through the expensive Canada Post, but no doubt you'll not regret doing so.

Certainly worth a listen (and a few more), Connivence is the perfect music to get in close to your mate and start making some connivance.
-Sean Trane- Prog Archives


01. Québec au printemps
02. Le Mât
03. Chanson d'Amour pour France
04. DAC
05. Les Cocottes de Kazou
06. Saskatoon
07. S'il y a d'l'amour
08. 1959
09. Une goutte de sang
10. Le Bateau
11. Accouche qu'on baptise


Paul Pugnaire: guitars, composition, vocals
Marc Sommer: bass, vocals
Jean-Luc Gotteland: keyboards, vocals
Thierry Durbano: drums, percussions
Lionel Dugas: vocals, guitars


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