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TRACK LIST: 1. Farlig Vandring 8:33 2. Ellipsoidik Karusell 10:41 3. Utrygge Trofler 7:06 4. Agraphia 6:56 5. Sykkelgnomflatten 6:55 6. Ompapaomompapa 9:43 All tracks: by Panzerpappa. LINE-UP: Steinar Borve - keyboards; saxophones Jarle Storlokken - electric & acoustic guitars Trond Gjellum - drums & percussion Andres Krabberod - electric bass & Stick
Prolusion. "Farlig Vandring" is the third album by the Norwegian band Panzerpappa, which existed since 1996. This is my first acquaintance with their creation.
Synopsis. Along with Samla Mammas Manna and U Totem, Panzerpappa is, that said, one of the most optimistic RIO-related bands I've ever heard. The pronounced melodiousness and liveliness of their music, which is quite atypical for this genre (not to mention Norway's Rock music), can be explained by the band's specific approach to working with RIO-related forms, but not exclusively. While RIO is the principal constituent of Panzerpappa's stylistics, the band does not scorn some other directions of Progressive Rock, as well as a light chamber music, while avoids any heavy and harsh sounds. They use bass, drums, saxophone, piano, organ, electric guitar, vibraphone and, in a less degree, acoustic guitar, Mellotron, and some woodwinds. A violin is present only on the second track, but it plays a prominent role almost throughout. Representing a classic RIO with elements of Jazz-Fusion, Symphonic Art-Rock, chamber and folk music, the first two compositions: Farlig Vandring and Ellipsoidik Karusell consist of dense, richly sounding arrangements, and yet, they're a bit more accessible than the other compositions. Here, a bass guitarist sets most of the initial themes, around which the other band members weave, proper, a musical palette, but since the parts of bass aren't that notable for diversity, both pieces contain quite a few recurrences. The last two tracks on the CD: Sykkelgnomflatten and Ompapaomompapa (5 & 6) are done in a similar direction, but these, and especially the latter, are much more diverse and intriguing, consisting mostly of ever-changing arrangements with various instruments being at the 'head' of them. Both of the tracks located in the middle of the album: Utrygge Trofler and Agraphia (3 & 4) are also outstanding compositions. Stylistically, they're about a blend of Jazz-Fusion and RIO with the slight prevalence of the first genre and a vibraphonist often performing the central soloing parts.
Conclusion. Although Panzerpappa is not the strongest among the RIO bands and performers I know, their music has a lot of its own merits, and "Farlig Vandring" is definitely a masterpiece, despite a few minor flaws. Besides, this effort may become a necessary and, maybe, even a final stage for those who, perhaps, would never comprehend and love RIO without hearing it.
VM: April 6, 2004
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