Saturday, April 12, 2014

Krokofant - Krokofant (Rune Grammmofon, 2014)

Krokofant is a trio of young musicians that have a great sound that is punishing in an early 1970's King Crimson meets Last Exit kind of way, but the most impressive thing about is is that they have the power harnessed and under control, using dynamics to raise and lower the ferocity and keep the listener wondering what is coming next. The band consists of Tom Hasslan on guitars, Axel Skalstad on drums and Jørgen Mathisen on saxophones. The first five tracks of the LP fly past with the invigorating sense of excitement of open minded musicians setting the controls the cosmos and exploring what they find. The opening "Bodega" sets the stage for the music that is to come with grinding guitars and raw saxophone moving from theme to theme, with some improvisation, and some knotty compositions like the dynamic "Thispair." For the most part, the music is fast and furious culminating on the short "Ejs" where the trio attempts spontaneous combustion through music. The King Crimson influence is most palpably felt on the closing track "Castaway" which takes the structure of KC's "Starless," the haunting beginning followed by a churning lyrical section and then blasting off into a scalding section that is all the more powerful considering what had come before. This is a very good LP and will hopefully open people's eyes to the quality of the music the band presents. The tight ensemble play and open-minded exploration that the band projects should appeal to both modern jazz listeners and open minded rock fans. Krokofant - Krokofant

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