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Simon Steensland - Fat Again CD (album) cover


Simon Steensland



4.18 | 22 ratings

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4 stars With a solo career streching back to the early 90's, Swedish composer and multi-instrumentalist Simon Steensland is without a doubt a gentleman that deserves to be tagged a veteran in the music business.

His latest venture Fat Again is the result of three years of labour, and the end result is an effort that should please most fans looking for truly challenging music.

While there are a few vocal passages to be found, this excursion is a mostly instrumental affair. The bass seems to be the driving instrument, closely competing with the drums for that role, and the musical foundation is probably best described as fusion. Jazz fans will find many familiar elements on Fat Again, especially from the aforementioned rhythm section.

Steensland does add quite a lot to this foundation though. Dissonances, disharmonies and cacaphonic passages unfolds on a regular basis, and lots of more or less twisted improvised-sounding sequences is a key feature, especially in the three longer tracks dominating this disc. All of this is run through an avant-garde filter, with folk-tinged and symphonic inspired themes added on occasion as a nice topping. On opening epic Der Klang von "Musik" we're even served a passage rather close to brutal metal in expression.

As far as references go, Magma is probably a band worth mentioning. But unlike the diciplinerian French outfit, Steensland allows himself and his musicians to be both innovative and creative. Not always for the better, some themes would probably have ended up better with a bit more dicipline, but the end result is most certainly a better one as far as I'm concerned - at least if comparing this years productions by these two artists.

Windhawk | 4/5 |


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