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Fire! Fire! Orchestra: Exit! album cover
3.88 | 19 ratings | 2 reviews | 11% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Part 1 (19:29)
2. Part 2 (24:54)

Total Time: 44:23

Line-up / Musicians

- Mats Gustafsson / conductor, tenor saxophone, live electronics
- Johan Berthling / electric bass
- Andreas Werliin / drums

- Mariam Wallentin / voice
- Emil Svanängen / voice, guitar
- Sofia Jernberg / voice
- Niklas Barnö / trumpet
- Magnus Broo / trumpet
- Emil Stransberg / trumpet
- Mats Äleklint / trombone
- Per Åke Holmlander / tuba
- Anna Högberg / alto saxophone
- Elin Larsson / tenor saxophone
- Fredrik Ljungkvist / baritone saxophone, clarinet
- Christer Bothén / bass clarinet, guimbri
- Jonas Kullhammar / bass saxophone
- Andreas Söderström / guitar
- Sören Runolf / guitar
- David Stackenäs / guitar
- Sten Sandell / piano, electronics
- Joachim Nordwall / electronics
- Thomas Halonsten / organ
- Joel Grip / bass
- Joe Williamson / bass
- Dan Berglund / bass
- Thomas Mera Gartz / drums
- Joyan Holmegard / drums
- Raymond Strid / drums

Releases information

CD Rune Grammofon RCD 2138 (2013 Norway)
LP Rune Grammofon RLP 3138 (2013 Norway)

Thanks to HolyMoly for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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FIRE! Fire! Orchestra: Exit! ratings distribution

(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(53%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FIRE! Fire! Orchestra: Exit! reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by frippism
4 stars Exit all areas!!!!

Recently I saw a guy make up a list called something like "top albums of 2013 which I only found out about in 2014". "Exit" would probably be number 1 for me on that list. It would probably one of the top albums on my original 2013 list as well if I didn't discover it through PA user Guldbamsen (thanks David!). Upon first listen I was so in awe of it that I went immediately on a scavenge for the album around Tel Aviv, eventually ordering the LP from one of the stores.

What is it you ask? Probably one of the more interesting releases of the year, this free jazz psychedelic krautrock electronic big band ensemble thingamabob is probably one of the most mind-bending, masterful things to come out of Swedish free jazz saxophonist Mats Gustafsson's head. A really big.. big band, Fire! Orchestra consists of 4 (!!) bassists, 4 drummers, 4 guitarists, 3 vocalists, 11 horn players, and 2 pianists/ organ players and one guy on electronics, there is no logical way this wouldn't be the most horrifyingly convoluted mess to ever come out of Sweden (except for Opeth hayooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo). But it just works so well- there are the dissonant explosions of free jazz horns, but they all come at the right moments, and the grooves are hypnotic and repetitive. The whole thing is shockingly coherent. Gustafsson has managed to take a bunch of the most interesting diverse musicians in Scandinavia and make an utterly bizarre but addictive and entertaining album.

The album consists of two side long tracks, both of them focusing mostly on long, hypnotic grooves which eventually slowly break down into more chaotic and dissonant free jazz explosions. Both tracks are equally strong with some of the most impressive vocals I have ever heard. One of the vocalists manages to twist her voice in such amazing ways that she manages to transition through one or two octaves ease and has a ridiculous vibrato that she sometimes does which is insane. I love the fact that there are four drummers- the scatters of tiny drum fills barely noticeable are great fun. I still don't really get why the band has four bassists- three uprights and one electric, though it does somewhat add to the volume of the groove. The guitar solos are also great, spastic and bendy.

The only small fault in my opinion in the album is that the second track goes for a bit too long, with a full blown free jazz finish, all the instruments pretty much just ripping it. It ain't bad, but in my opinion they could have ended the track wonderfully with the vocalist's final performance, which is great throughout the album.

We have an album here that manages to both sound like a modern free jazz record while still reminding you clearly of the big bands of traditional jazz a la Duke Ellington, and at the same time adding electronics and psychedelic elements. It's ridiculous, it was probably never done before. It is a fun, rewarding and thought-provoking album. Strongly recommended for all jazz-heads here, all fans of free jazz and of Mats Gustafsson's stuff along with any RIO fans. Simply a fantastic album. 4.5

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Originally written for

Swedish sax player Mats Gustafsson is a household name in the local alternative scene, and his countless projects represent a wide range of jazz-related alternative music from the scratchy punk-jazz of The Thing, to "out" solo improvs and free-form duos with English bassist Barry Guy, as well as others. Last year (2012), when his Norwegian-Swedish trio The Thing released an album with r'n'b/hip hop vocalist and Don Cherry step-daughter Nenah Cherry, it almost sounded like a joke - but only on the first spin. Catchy RnB songs supported by a rocking/free-jazz trio were strange, but an attractive mix which received good media and listener attention.

All of that looked like a one-night adventure until the end of this January when Mats continued the same concept of adding guests to his groups, but with a much more ambitious project. Using his other trio - the all-Swedish Fire!, he formed a 30-piece Fire! Orchestra adding 5 vocalists, 10 reed players, 4 guitarists, 3 drummers, 3 bassists, plus a keyboardist and electronics wizard to the original trio's line-up! Based on the ritualistic lyrics written by Dutch avant-garde rock musician Arnold de Boer, Orchestra recorded a two part suite with chant vocals from Mariam Wallentin (of Swedish experimental duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums) and Ethiopian-Swedish soprano Sofia Jernberg.

By its concept, Exit! could be compared with Carla Bley's "Escalator Over The Hill", Charlie Haden's Liberation Orchestra or Keith Tippet's Centipede - but transferred to the XXI century. From the very first seconds the listener will be caught by industrial rock pulsations orchestrated by a mind-blowing reeds section and exceptional vocals. The Cherry Thing sounds like a childish rehearsal compared to Exit!'s monumental beauty. With support from leading Swedish jazz and avant-garde rock musicians such as guitarist David Stackenas, bassist Dan Beglund (ex E.S.T., Tonbruket), reeds players Fredrik Ljungkvist (Atomic) and Magnus Broo (Atomic, Angles) as well as others, this work represents the entire modern experimental Swedish scene at its best. Avant-garde free-jazz/rock big band with operatic vocals and contemporary classical music elements played live in front of an enthusiastic audience - you just have to hear it!

It's a pity the album is so short, just around 45 minutes. Mats is known as a passionate vinyl record collector, probably it's the reason why his albums are usually just vinyl disc-long.

Highly recommended - I believe this album will take an honorable place among this year's best releases.

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