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Grovjobb - Vättarnas fest CD (album) cover

VÄTTARNAS FEST

Grovjobb

Prog Folk


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Greger
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars A parade of different creatures with bodies or body parts formed as music instruments, happily playing and singing as they're marching on. That is what you can see on the beautiful and mystic cover painting by Hans Arnold. The cover gives you a 70's feeling of some obscure release back then, and it's also a good illustration of the music on this CD. GROVJOBB are a Swedish band formed in 1995. They released their debut CD "Landet Leverpastej" in October 1998. This is their second CD and it contains instrumental psychedelic and progressive folk music with reminiscences to bands and artists such as Bo HANSSON, INTRA, JETHRO TULL, KEBNEKAJSE, LANDBERQ, MADE IN SWEDEN and Björn OLSSON. Sometimes there's also some jazz-rock moments in their music. They are very fine musicians who deliver music with good melodies and duelling guitar and flute. Highly recommended to lovers of Swedish progressive folk music with the above mentioned reminiscenses. This is magical music for warm summer nights!

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Send comments to Greger (BETA) | Report this review (#19911)
Posted Saturday, February 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Grovjobb (translate in hard work) is a swedish band formed in mid '90's. They have since now 3 albums , this one Vattarnas fest (The water festival) is the second one from 1999. Grovjobb's music sounds if was made in 1976 or even earlier, the atmosphere , the way they manage to create the passages gives you the feeling that you listen to some obscure mid'70's band. But surprise is given by the year of release - 1999. After the excellent debut album fromthe year prior, Grovjobb come with another impressive album - Vatternas fest, with some brilliant guitar parts interplayed very well with flute and in places with sitar. As many bands from the newer generation tries to sound like their teachers - Grovjobb is no exception - they really succede to soun like a 70's progressive band. What gives to Grovjobb musical uniquess is that they don't have keybordis and keys, the only instruments are guitar, drums, flute, bass and ocassionaly sitar. Very good and intristing are the prog elements combined with native folk motives and aswell some jazzy moments here and there, that gives a special atmosphere to the pieces. All album is instrumental that is another thing that the members must be congratulated, because they done a great effort with this album, and have enough spave to create something of a true value in progressive rock these days. All 5 pieces stands for me as very good, with nice interplays between flute and guitar and ocassionaly sitar. The last pieces is an epic of over 19 min, a real journey in their unique sound, with a trippy sitar opening solo and marvelous flute and guitar moments. Sometimes their music can be compared at some point with thier country fellow Anglagard, Kebnekaise and even in places I can here because of the flute sound some Jethro Tull and Triode (the french one), but as a whole is one of the most original albums I ever heared in years, great work. I wonder why they are so unknow to prog listners, with such music is hard not to come with a solid fan base or a wider recognition. Another thing that needs to be said here is about the cover art - -extremly well done and hand in hand with the music - the painting is made by Hans Arnold and represent as the previous reviewer observe, Greger : "A parade of different creatures with bodies or body parts formed as music instruments, happily playing and singing as they're marching on" . So, finaly a masterpice of progressive rock with folk influences, an album that must be collected without any hesitation, worth every second of it. Also all three albums were released at swedish label Garage land records, don't hesitate to take a listen to this band they are among the best. 5 stars easely , among the best albums from my collection and from entire prog music and higly underrated and unnoticed and is a damn shame.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#210140)
Posted Saturday, April 04, 2009 | Review Permalink
ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars This is real throwback psych folk, sounding more like something from the early seventies than the late nineties, which I think is great is the retro kind of way it was meant to be presented. I thoroughly enjoy listening to this CD and sort of lost it in my collection for quite a while before recently coming across it again. Too bad its been gathering dust as it is definitely top-drawer stuff.

I have a CD of old seventies psych music from my friend Peter Lindahl (In the Labyrinth) titled simply ‘Psychedelic Sweden’. The guitar on this record reminds me a lot of the Kawai Peter used to play “Syrran” and the unfinished “Mary Mercury”, which appear on that CD but were recorded nearly forty years ago. There’s also tabla and sitar here along with flute, which combine to paint a sort of patchouli hazy picture of light and smoky folk psych of the highest order (take “highest” to mean what you will).

There are no vocals on the album which I personally have mixed feelings about. On the one hand I love words with music, especially folk-leaning music, since the words help paint the story that is inevitably behind all the chords and rhythms. On the other hand singing can also get in the way of well-played instrumentals, and I have a hard time imagining in this case how vocals would have improved the overall sound. This is a trip best enjoyed sans words, I think.

The really amazing thing about these songs is that they are as vibrant and ranging as they are without any keyboards or digital studio effects to speak of. Simply guitar, tabla, flute, sitar and some decent yet understated violin. The quartet does a remarkable lot with just a little, for which they are to be commended.

The opening “Visa från Arendal” has an achingly familiar guitar riff that is not only recognizable but also sounds an awful lot like some sort of electric keyboard. Guitar experts could probably explain this if I knew one of those people, but I just dig the groove. These are highly melodic songs with fat-fingered string-bending and a toe-tapping backbeat that almost makes them danceable at times. Just the kind of groove that can keep your attention until the very last note plays out. “Sauna” in particular is not only smooth but also manages to rock out and manages to sound a lot longer than its 4:45 length.

And speaking of long, the band serves up another common psych offering with an extended tabla/sitar/guitar jam that seems to employ some raga constructions in the nearly twenty- minute long closing piece “Skogsgläntan Vättarnas Fest”. Despite the appearance of being an improvised jam, the construction is remarkably cohesive as the sitar weaves a series of movements backed by gentle tabla beats that sometimes rise to the forefront as alternating guitar passages wander in and out. The rather lengthy raga sequence takes forever to repeat itself, and when the rewind comes its not all that recognizable as the tabla has given way to snare drums and the sitar has been all but completely replaced by electric guitar. The transition is smooth and well done, rising slightly in tempo and energy before slowly fading to a close. A real trip.

I know very little about this Swedish band and to be honest only picked up their CD because of the unusual cover; that turned out to be a lucky move. This is a great album full of somewhat dates sounds delivered with the power of modern studio engineering and musicians having the advantage of learning much from the dusty old records in their fathers’ collections. I’d liken their approach on psych to contemporaries like Smell of Incense or even Voice of the Seven Woods. If you know either of these bands or their ilk you will undoubtedly get into these guys; if you don’t check them out anyway. A top-notch recording that falls just short of being a masterpiece only because I can’t quite add the word “groundbreaking” to the many superlatives already heaped on it. A high four stars though, and well recommended.

peace

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Send comments to ClemofNazareth (BETA) | Report this review (#251959)
Posted Friday, November 20, 2009 | Review Permalink
Guldbamsen
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP
Site and Forum Admin
4 stars Swedish fondue nr. 4

I remember buying this one back during the start of the new millennium - getting back to my stereo rack, looking at the speakers with a somewhat stupid and unintelligent expression on my face. Didn't I just buy an album from 1999? Well maybe the long-haired guy at the store gave me the wrong cd, he certainly looked kind of hazy and absent minded. But no, upon opening the booklet and reading about the music, it all became clear to me, that the kind of music I had been head over heels in love with - that old vintage psychedelic music from the good old days, that I actually thought was a thing of the past, - was indeed oozing out of my speakers like thick gooey marmalade.

We've been over this a million times. Retro prog. Retro music. Retro this and that, and all that really means to me personally is, that we're facing music that sports instruments and studio recordings such as you'd hear on a 1973 release. Well just because Miles Davis once utilized wind instruments within a rock mould, doesn't necessarily mean that a band like Mirthkon is ripping him off. Hell Eddie Jobson is such a fraud, I mean Mozart was using violins centuries before him! I know I'm exaggerating slightly here, but we owe it to ourselves to give the musicians a break sometimes. I've seen a lot of reviews calling acts Genesis clones because of a simple mix of mellotron and 12 string guitars, and that is just bs in my humble opinion. The reason why I'm mentioning this is because Grovjobb is one of those bands, that very easily could be tagged as Jethro Tull rip offs - all on account of the heavy flute work in their music. Yes it occasionally sounds like Ian Anderson, but that's only because Simon Krarup Jensen here also spits in his flute. The feel of this technique opens up to many associations, but I've always had this image of a fairly aggressive llama imitating the chew chews of a chew chew train, but hey that's just me. I love when the flute is played like this. It adds a certain edge to an otherwise ethereal and clean instrument. It's like painting a swan black, or like French kissing the queen's nose. Rrrrauuw!

On most of the tracks you could describe the flute as the lead instrument, because apart from the last marathon track on Vättarnas Fest, it is truly that, only swapping places with the reverberating waves of the guitar that at times decides to lead the parade if only for a short but memorable dance. But around all of this, we have something quite special, and furthermore something that sounds pretty original. Jethro Tull were never this psychedelic. They never jammed this much in their music. They never sounded this Krautrocking. Had this album been released in Germany back in 72, we would almost certainly be calling it a Krautrock classic today. I'm sure of that - believe you me.

It's a very persuasive kind of approach we get from these Swedes. You've got these rolling guitar infected grooves, that never really tries to do anything else than feed the atmosphere with long drawn out jams. Writhing and swaying blowing all over the spectrum - sounding like a psychedelic sonic string bending cheerleader in slow motion. Accompanying this lazy bugger, you have a brilliant bass acting like a true gopher - burrowing deep beneath the music, yet still soiling everything around it in earth and dirt. I simply love that little creature! Funky and meaty - just like I want it. And that's about it - as mad as that sounds! Though on the other hand, what really counterpoints this rather frugal musical excursion - is the amount of alternating, blooming, zooming, fast pacing, blossoming and fire breathing tempers of this band. They feel just as much at home doing sensuous deep-felt sections of chit chatting echoing wah wah guitars and jazzy rhythm mumblings to rock jam city with all out - full frontal bird attack flute travels with everything around resembling melting earwax - y'know those guitar textures that seem to dissolve in a sea of fuzz. It's all good.

Pretty much every track here is what I'd call a jam. Maybe these tracks have talked beforehand - laying down the principle rules of the game - deciding what to do and whatnot, but to me it all sounds like a perfect jam on one of those Friday nights, where everyone involved seem to have a secret hard line interconnecting each and everybody to the great big wide interweb of 4 completely different people. It's the music you don't need to discuss - you just know it instinctively. The memo was send in due time.

The final track here is the only one jumping out of the norm. It starts out like a beautiful sleepwalker - trudging slowly and steadily like an Indian hunter on the prowl. Tablas, crooked acoustic sitar, Eastern musical wanderings ebbing out into the musicians - creating an amazing intro to the last of these psychedelic mantras. It happens smoothly and gliding, but when the Indian spices have run out of steam - all of a sudden the wah wahing guitars step back in your life, and everything is right as rain. Starting like a raga and ending like a proper rock adventure in hi fi. Right on!

This album is anything but your average old school memorabilia get together - it's far more than that. It's an honest and warm blooded affair with just the right amount of analogue recording technique involved to let you be transported back in time - but first and foremost, it is music created on the spot by individuals that clearly were inspired by those good old days, but more importantly understood what all the fuzz was about: It was about creating grooves between the musicians - getting into it with heart and soul - tearing up the empty spaces and substituting them with saucy, sweating, authentic and free flowing sonic juice, that never gets old or outdated. Why? Because music is about feel - not the guy behind the table with the suitcase and ties. 4.5 stars.

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Send comments to Guldbamsen (BETA) | Report this review (#620310)
Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 | Review Permalink

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