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Tusmørke - Underjordisk Tusmørke CD (album) cover

UNDERJORDISK TUSMØRKE

Tusmørke

 

Prog Folk

3.64 | 45 ratings

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Progfan97402
5 stars A great new discovery for me. Tusmørke was apparently formed in the 1990s, at one point they were going by the name of Les Fleurs de Mal in which future Wobbler vocalist Andreas Prestmo was a member of.

Underjordisk Tusmørke is their first full release, released on Termo who released the last two Wobbler CDs. Warning: this stuff might not appeal to the symphonic prog crowd, aside from the bonus cut, "Ode on Dawn", an old Les Fleurs de Mal recording that is full-on symphonic prog. The rest is basically retro psychedelic folk prog, it's rather song-based. There is a strong Nordic feel in the music, and in fact often reminds me of a Nordic Jethro Tull, especially the flute playing. I also get reminded a bit of the British group Purson, a retro psychedelic act lead by Rosalie Cunningham, except there's no female vocals, it's all male vocals, sung in English with an accent, although there are two songs in their native Norwegian. I've heard references to Camel and Caravan, but I really don't notice that. I do notice the occasional Canterbury-type fuzz organ. The music also gets me thinking of Wobbler's last release Rites at Dawn, but not symphonic. It helps that none other than Lars Fredrik Frøislie of Wobbler and White Willow makes an appearance here providing Moog, Hammond organ, Mellotron, and Chamberlin M1 (he bought the Chamberlin from an American seller on eBay, and as far as anyone knows, I'm sure Lars included, the only Chamberlin in Norway). This would have been the perfect release for Rise Above Records, although that label had specialized in heavy metal for years, the last several years they've been including several retro-psych and prog acts on their roster including Astra, Purson, and Diagonal. But thanks to the Wobbler connection, it's little surprise it was released on Termo. This is full of great songs like "Fimbul", "A Young Man and His Woman", "The Quintessence of Elements" and "Høstjevndøgn". There are also three bonus cuts, one of them the wonderful "Salomonsens Hage" and "Ode on Dawn". "Ode on Dawn", at 17 minutes, dates back when they called Les Fleurs de Mal. They go full-on prog, and without a doubt they owned a Mellotron which they put to good use here. As mentioned before, current Wobbler vocalist Andreas Prestmo was in this early incarnation, and it certainly sounds like him! The music is something like Yes, King Crimson, and perhaps Sinkadus. The sound quality isn't the greatest though, it has a more demo cassette quality to it. But it would have been nice if they recorded albums then, if anything else they recorded was on the level of "Ode on Dawn", they'd be hailed as another great retro Scandinavian prog of the 1990s (maybe not up there with Änglagård, after all, what is, but still great).

Update: since doing this update, I discovered a few things about Tusmørke that I didn't know about when they first blew me away in 2013. Drummer HlewagastiR is actually none other than Martin Nordrum Kneppen of Wobbler, basically the band consists of two Wobbler members, so this is basically a Wobbler-related band. The core of the band consists of the Momrak brothers Krizla (Kristoffer) and Benedikt (Benediktator). Getting blown away by this band, I am happy to see as of the end of 2017 they still around cranking out great albums, and unlike Wobbler, they don't have to make us wait years for a new release, so I'm under the impression Tusmørke being a place for Lars and Martin to go to when it seems to take years for Wobbler to come up with a new composition, never mind a new album (as of this typing, the wait is over, now they came up with From Silence to Somewhere at the time Tusmørke came up with the children's album Bydyra, and Tusmørke came up with another album earlier in the same year with Hinsides which is more lightweight in places and pretty doomy in other parts, and nothing like Bydyra, of course). Also when I hear Underjordisk Tusmørke, I expect the band to break into an excerpt of Edvard Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King". Didn't happen here, but they did, on flute, on "Ekebergkongen" on their 2016 release Ført Bak Lyset.

Some of the prog purists might not take to this, given it's more melodic and straightforward approach, but then this is basically psychedelic prog folk (they later did more complex material, like the title track to Riset Bak Speiler and a good portion of Hinsides especially "Sankt Sebastiens Alter"). For me this is nothing short of amazing, something from 2012 that sounded like it came out in 1970 (aside from the occasional synths which are more mid '70s sounding). I can't believe stuff like this is still being made. Makes you glad there are artists out there who detest AutoTune. Also you can tell these guys are hardly keen on groups like Marillion or the Flower Kings. Highly recommended for those who want more great retro psychedelic folk prog!

Progfan97402 | 5/5 |

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