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(54:42, Musea Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Hem-O-Roj 5:57 2. The Carpet 2:46 3. Ove och det Tjockaste Sminket 6:21 4. Flourtantskosmos 5:26 5. Knolpaksinhalator 5:09 6. Fusionlok 7:42 7. Kaskelottkotte 6:45 8. The Sacrifice of Gluteus Maximus 3:31 9. Kyskhastsdisco 11:05 LINEUP: Fredrik Sommar – bass Martin Olsson – guitar Daniel Bjorklund – guitar Tor Sandell – synthesizer Olle Karlsson - drums
Prolusion. The Swedish instrumental outfit NEVARLLAJF was formed in the town of Mora towards the end of 2005 by five friends from high school, who after a few initial rehearsals decided that this project was worthwhile taking further. For the next couple of years they honed their craft and after winning a national music contest some high profile gigs followed; a record deal was signed with Musea Records in 2008, and in late November of 2009 their first full length production "Klusterfloristen" was released on the Musea Parallele imprint.
Analysis. Instrumental progressive rock is a description that can encompass just about anything non-vocal in nature. In the case of this Swedish band, you might describe their music in much the same manner. And while they aren't quite in the category of bands that will throw everything and the kitchen sink into their compositions, they come pretty close at times and their approach can only be described as eclectic. What separates this band from many others which utilize a great variety of stylistic expressions and sounds, is that Nevarllajf has its feet firmly placed within one specific part of the progressive rock realms, namely that of fusion. These guys know their jazz, jazz-rock and fusion by heart apparently, and while their take on the fusion territory is an adventurous one with plenty of inserts from other genres, the greater majority of all the compositions stay well put within their chosen firmament. Their choice of additional stylistic influences is mostly threefold, with powerful surging riff escapades the most dominant, augmented by rich powerful organ or energetic synth soloing, with dissonant King Crimson-esque swirling guitar motifs and space-tinged synth flourishes as other distinct additions from beyond the smoky realms of the jazz-tinged prog rock kingdom. But it's arguably within their chosen territory that this band is at its most eclectic. Lazy, West Coast-inspired jazz rock with light textures and dreamy moods go hand-in-hand with energetic 70's funk-inspired themes as well as passionate and spirited guitar and keyboard duels, staccato and dramatic motifs inserted in greater themes of a more free-flowing and easily digestable nature. They know their Django Reinhardt just as well as Al Di Meola, and if you're intimately familiar with the greats of jazz rock and fusion from recent decades you'll most likely encounter fragments and passages inspired by most of them on this album. The transitions between the various styles and expressions explored may be the most impressive dimension to this production. Rarely dramatic and seldom predictable, these songs flow effortlessly from start to finish, and flirting with a handful of styles in 20 seconds is a challenge these musicians master with an apparent ease counterparts much more experienced would envy them. The level of skill and talent displayed technically and musically is basically impressive. The main setback on this initial production is that some of the songs do tend to be slightly aimless: A few-to-many instances of alterations made because they can do them, some examples of the band losing itself in technical displays, and also the odd moment of "this was awesomely funny while doing it in the studio". Nevertheless, by and large, this is an impressive first album from a band which should have a great artistic future ahead of it.
Conclusion. If you enjoy fusion, are intrigued by a band that has an adventurous approach to this genre, and you don't mind the odd musical flirtation with art rock and metal, "Klusterfloristen" is a production you should add to whatever list you have of artists who warrant a closer check. In particular if you prefer music of this variety to be of a purified instrumental nature.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: Jan 11, 2010
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