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Mats-Morgan (Band) - On Air with Guests CD (album) cover


Mats-Morgan (Band)

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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5 stars Astonishing collection of radio tapes by one the freakiest bands nowadays. Mats Óberg and Morgan Agren are joined here with their regular players, accompanied here by other stars of swedish music scene. The result would be the answer to the question: what happens when funk meets prog in trhe hands of an extremely fast and aggressive band?

The record starts with a great intro, "En Schizofrens Dagbok", where you can imagine more or less what is comig on the record: furious and hypertechnical jazz rock. It continues with "Hollmervalsen", lots of frenzy in a piece with superb changes on rhytmics (it reminds me of FRENCH TV for the continuos chages and slight humour in the melody, very zappaesque indeed).

As a moment of relax before the storm, we have a cover of the classic by Alfred Ellis "Chicken" (maybe the fastest cover of the song is this one!). And here is the storm: Mats Öberg and Morgan Agren playing together with Frederik Thornendal in the heaviest part of the record, close to avant metal or even grind; incredible rol for Morgan Agran on drums. Then we have one of my favorites, "Advokaten", a song that changes every time is played, so we can verify their talent to remake their music on each occasion. this time, it starts with light percussives until the appearance of the theremin; then starts an oustanding crescendo that leads, us Zappa would say, to an orgasmic frenzy. Fiery jazz rock music at its best!

To stop the growing in intensity, "Min Häst" brings a lighter atmosphere with its funky kindness, so we can have mind and body prepared for the next blast: "Etage A-41",full hypnotic keyborads and rhytmics (once again FRENCH TV, but a couple of bits more accelerated). Return to calm with a bluesy tune from the JIMMY AGREN BAND (is it necessary to say that the quiet sections of this record could easily be the fastest of others?). On "Baader Puff/Paltsug" they show us their devotion to FRANK ZAPPA with a piece full of changes and absolute fun that reminds me of the best FZ: is it possible to make so much music in only 3 minutes? The last song of the record, "Ta Ned Trasan", very in a canterburian way (reminds me of NATIONAL HEALTH´s first record).

But there is a surprise, the prize for those who dared to listen to the whole record and remained still unsatisfied: ten minutes of what it seems to be a collage of improvisations with lots of electronic drums and programming. In fact, in an album with such an amount of musical researchers, this was the only instrument one not appeared yet.

How can I resume 70 minutes of superb avant jazz rock in two words? Absolutely essential. Not only is this band one of the best in current prog scene, they have reinvented the language of jazz rock and taking it to unknown dimensions worth to be discovered by all of us who love skilled musicians and creative and innovative music. 5 stars.

Report this review (#128348)
Posted Friday, July 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars Unlike their previous live album which was recorded in a club this one was recorded live in a controlled enviroment with various guests helping out on several tracks. Eight of the eighteen tracks are around a minute or considerably less. I must admit that while this album is so impressive mainly because of the talents of Mats and Morgan on keys and drums respectively, it just doesn't come off nearly as well as the live album released the year before. Just my opinion of course, but there's so much wankery here that it reminds me of Steve Vai's 'The Elusive Sight And Sound" compilation where we witness an amazing guitarist but we don't get much in the way of great tunes.This is a shred-fest of a different kind that is mind boggling but tough for me to sit down and actually enjoy.Technical is the word. I'll just focus on the longer tracks.

"En Schizofrens Dagbok" is all about precision. Not what you'd call melodic but... a fuller sound arrives after 1 1/2 minutes and this sounds better. An impressive display to say the least. "Hollmervalsen" has some insane drum and keyboard work. Although it turns cold and technical to the point of being annoying to these ears. "Chicken" is kind of funky with Jonas Knutsson on sax. Keys lead before 3 minutes then drums before 4 1/2 minutes before the sax is back outfront after 6 minutes. Excellent tune.

"Sol Niger Within" is a top three with guitarist Fredrik Thordendal adding some heavy leads. By the way this is surprisingly heavy music. Very much Metal. It's great ! "Advokaten" features Simon Steensland with his theremin. Not a bad song. "Min Hast" is another top three. It reminds me of WIGWAM early on but much more intense. "Etage A-41" is flat out insane ! "She's Louder Than Me, But I've Got The Microphone" guests the Jimmy Agren Band and I really like the guitar and bass here. Good track. "Ta Ned Trasan" is mostly keys and drum led.

Some mind blowing instrumental work to be heard on this album but like I said earlier i'll take the live album from the year before which is just as impressive instrumentally with more of an emphasis on their songs. 3 stars but worth 4 or 5 stars for the talent alone. Just sayin'.

Report this review (#352080)
Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 | Review Permalink

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