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Samla Mammas Manna - Kaka CD (album) cover

KAKA

Samla Mammas Manna

RIO/Avant-Prog


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Greger
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA was formed in Uppsala, Sweden in 1969. The last offspring of SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA, VON ZAMLA, did their last album "No Make Up!" in 1984, so it has gone 15 years since then. Now the long awaited reunion on album for SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA is finally here. VON ZAMLA however had little to do with the band you can hear on this album. The line-up on this album made their last album "Snorungarnas symfoni" in 1976, so actually it's 23 years since they did an album together. Therefore you can understand that it is with great pleasure and high expectations I started listen to this album. - If you liked SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA back then I promise you that you won't be disappointed. It is with satisfaction I notice that not much has happened with their music over the years. The playfulness, the craziness, the humour, the experimentation's and the improvisations is ever present and it sounds just like it did back then. This is said in a positive way. I don't think that anyone would've wanted SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA to take on another direction in their music. The only thing that has changed is that they're even better musicians today and that the sound on the production has improved since the 70's. If you haven't had the joy of hearing SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA before I can tell you that their music is a blend of mostly instrumental 70's progressive rock, jazz-fusion, avant-garde, RIO (Rock In Opposition) and World Music. - I had the opportunity to have a long discussion once with the drummer Hans Bruniusson. He talked a lot about musicians he admired and recommended me to listen to bands and musicians such as ART BEARS, Chris CUTLER, ETRON FOU, UNIVERS ZERO, Albert MARCOEUR and Fred FRITH. I think that much of their music is also reflected in SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA's music. - The material on this album is a mix of live recordings ranging from 1993-98 and new recordings done in Lars Hollmer's legendary studio "The Chickenhouse". The cover artwork "Ha Kakan Kvar" is made by Tage Åsén who also did the art work for SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA's albums "Måltid" (1973), "Klossa Knapitatet" (1974) and "Schlagerns mystik" (1978). This is without doubt one of the best albums in 1999. If you're a fan of SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA you won't have to think twice: buy this album immediately. If you haven't heard them before this album is a perfect starter. Highly recommended!
Report this review (#21603)
Posted Thursday, March 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars Greger speaks quite well of this record , but I beg to differ on a few points from his. The first one is that this album , however good it is and might be one of the better from S M M , it is far from essential because of the very reasons he points: NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN of their planet. Yes , it does sound like it is like back then but that is exactly my point : what is the interest? I can search for many good reasons but none essential that would make this record the same. But his review is everything else I could have written about this album.
Report this review (#21604)
Posted Tuesday, February 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars All the four members of the classic Samla lineup reunited in 1990 for a one-off gig in celebration of Hasse Bruniusson's 40th birthday but then decided to carry on their live collaboration throughout the '90s. Kaka was released towards the end of the band's reunion since Bruniusson left the band that same year. Kaka is basically a compilation of material that has been in Samla's repertoire for quite some time mixed together with a few live recordings from their performances in the '90s. This description isn't all that appealing, but the final result can easily be considered one of their best albums!

Since I originally had my reservations about this release I decided to initially borrow the album from the Kulturhuset library, in downtown Stockholm. Only a few spins later it became very clear that I would need a CD copy of my own! This release is everything a Samla fan can dream of from the band. I guess that the easiest way to describe this release would be by calling it a semi-concept album that begins with the band tuning their instruments for a fictional gig and then goes into one of their craziest live performances yet. We also get an English speaking commentator introducing the different sections of the performance in a rather sarcastic fashion.

Even though the fictive live gig is one of the most overused prog clichés, that began with the Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Kaka is one of those instances where the whole idea works rather nicely considering the wide array of compositions that are featured on the album. Many of the tunes pay a direct or indirect homage to the band's past. The most clear example of this can be heard on Satori which is pretty much a new take on Släde Till Sator from the band's debut album. We also get to hear a few familiar melodies integrated into the new material which makes it a great treat to all the fans.

I rarely get the chance to recommend a relatively recent album from a prominent '70s act as one of their best achievements but this is definitely the case with Kaka. This album has everything that most of the fans could expect from Samla. Unexperienced listeners might not catch all of the inside jokes but will get an excellent retrospective of the band's work that will surely grow on them even more once they go back and visit the band's '70s output. Simply put, a great album for everyone!

***** star songs: Lyckliga Titanic (5:12) Satori (3:28) Frestelsens Cafe (8:15) Andra Ikarien (3:34) Tredje Ikarien (5:31)

**** star songs: Stämma Lite (0:30) Oh Sa Masalana Jämfört Med Ålman River (2:04) Första Ikarien (6:40) Reptilgärna (2:16) Vegetariskt Impro, Svar Direkt (2:38)Tung Krupa Tejpraga Tra La La (2:36) Hatman (2:28) OQ (0:19)

*** star songs: Även Oss Far Tiden Aldras Spasmodskij/Engelbert Humperdinck Blues (5:12)

Report this review (#304928)
Posted Sunday, October 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Samla mammas manna's fifth(or tenth) studio record and also their last "Kaka" from 1999 was a good but unfortunately uneven record with one phenomenal half and one quite bad. Ten minutes shorter and a totally different decision perhaps would have been possible. As before(23 years earlier!) the cover is colourful and interesting. Four traditionally clothed people rest on a Princess cake. "Kaka" is Swedish for "cake".

Without singing(always something of a pity) the group Samla mammas manna here manage to once again create astonishing progressive rock, totally unique. I wouldn't say Samla has become inferior. On seven of these fourteen tracks they're amazing. I am sure you would hear the magic of wild compositions, symphonic rock, crazy piano and screamings. Samla mixes some sweidsh folk variations with orientalic and europeic craziness and they master accordion, guitar, piano, bass and drums as good as I want. The best tracks are "Frestelsens café", "Oh sa masalana jämfört med Alman river", Första ikarien, Lyckliga Titanic, Satori, Andra Ikarien and Tredje Ikarien. The second of these is an experimental joke and a perfect summing of SMM. The other mentioned songs continues where they quited some years ago with a totally melodic and innovative prog.

The other tracks, unfortunately take the glory away from this record. Well, they are experimental and in a small dosage it's pleasent but when every other song isn't a song there is too much of it. As musical art those tracks certainly have a worth but it disturbs my listening to this otherwise perfect music. So my advise to you is to skip those not mentioned tracks. Listen to the good ones, they're worth it. If this was a lp-record it's time would have been 38-40 minutes and I think the result would have been better. With some awful fillers my rating will be three stars.

Report this review (#1037081)
Posted Tuesday, September 17, 2013 | Review Permalink

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