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Kultivator - Barndomens Stigar CD (album) cover

BARNDOMENS STIGAR

Kultivator

 

Eclectic Prog

3.81 | 50 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It seems so unreal that outside Canterbury and after the 70s were over that good Canterbury-influenced music could be created and recorded. And when I say "good", I mean "Excellent", "magnificent", "exciting". Swedish band Kultivator was regrettably a one-shoot act whose "Barndomens Stigar" album was an important legacy for the world of jazz-prog. This album's material is to a large degree based on the influences of "4th"-"5th"-era Soft Machine, Gilgamesh and the jazzy elements of Henry Cow's first two albums. There are also hints to Matching Mole and the somber aura of early Univers Zero, but these are less dominant. This exhibition of complex, experimental jazz- rock comprises a peculiar, challenging melodic vibe that includes an important dose of dissonances and an inch of disturbing darkness. Ingemo Rylander's mezzosoprano timber is obviously influenced by Amanda Parsons, while Linge's guitar deliveries state a midpoint between Phil Miller's stylish chops and Fred Frith's cerebral delirium. Additionally, Hedrén's organ emulates the vibrato archetypized by Dave Stewart and Mike Ratledge. Well, Kultivator is mostly Canterbury- based, which is not a denial of the band's capacity to elaborate certain variables in this frame. The first three pieces pretty much fit the standard described in this review, with the third one being the most aggressive track: this is due to the way that Carlsson's fuzzed bass takes center stage in the track's development. 'Kära jord' and 'Grottekvarnen' are the two longest numbers in the album, with enough room to work on the extroverted side of the band. The interactions are solid and creative, allowing the main motifs to be developed toward an electrifying climax. The namesake track is another highlight: it starts with a beautiful intro on recorder, which eventually turns out augmented by the whole ensemble with controlled colorfulness: if one ever wondered how it would be if Gentle Giant and Gilgamesh had written and recorded a prog piece together, this song is the answer. 'Vårföl' has a festive mood that places a sense of warm flourishes, while the closer 'Novarest' finds the band going the opposite way, to the dark side of their musical voice. To my ears, it sounds like a mixture of UZ's "1313" and ZMM's "Familjesprickor". The final blow works as an effective farewell to the repertoire. But this is not the CD's finale, since it contains two excellent bonus tracks. 'Häxdans' retakes the mixture of Renaissance colors and jazzy dynamics that was already present in the 'Barndomens Stigar' track. 'Tunnelbanan Medley' is a live track from a 1979 concert: it follows the pattern of the official album's first three pieces. Kultivator is a must for every lover of experimental prog with a heavy Canterbury component: as simple as that.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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