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Zamla Mammaz Manna - Familjesprickor CD (album) cover


Zamla Mammaz Manna



4.20 | 103 ratings

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The Hemulen
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Well, this album was a surprise. Not because it was so different to the works of Samla Mammas Manna but in fact the very opposite! I was pleasantly surprised by how close in sound to their previous works it really was. The reviews and descriptions I'd read had lead me to believe that it was dark, dingy RIO affair akin to Henry Cow or Univers Zero. Anything but! The playfulness, quirkiness and accessibility of the Samla of old is very much present on this record. Yes, it's a bit dirtier in its sound - a smidgeon more dissonant than Maltid or Klossa perhaps, certainly they've cut down on the comical wailing (but not altogether as tracks like "The Thrall" show) - but to call this album "dark" is misleading in my opinion. It's simply too mischievous for such a word.

So, what of the compositions themselves? Well, they are simply amongst the very best any of the musicians involved have ever created. They're much tighter and more composed than some of the earlier Samla excursions, though they do stretch their improvisational legs on a few tracks. The guitar is more dominant than ever, but the keyboard and drums still make themselves known, as do a few quirkier sounds like metal clanking on "The Forge" and some excellent bottle blowing on "Ventilation Calculation". The album is a wonderful cornucopia of moods, textures, tempos and so on but it doesn't suffer from seeming confused or directionless. As I said before, this is a very tight and arranged offering.

What makes this album, and indeed all Zamla/Samla records, so appealing is their energy, creativity and playfulness. If those three words sound appealing to you then don't delay in picking up this gem of the more accessible side of RIO (if such a thing even exists). You'll be treated to a delicious blend of dissonant rock, fusion-esque jazz, touches of swedish folk and anything else that occurs to them at the time (Pappa for example has a distinctly reggae feel). If you take delight in the bizarre or you're wondering if there's more to RIO than Henry Cow, this is an album for you.

The Hemulen | 5/5 |


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