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ELEPHANT9

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Norway


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Elephant9 biography
An offshoot project from members of Norwegian groups Shining and Supersilent that could translate in Mwandishi meeting Keith Emerson. Drummer Thorstein LOFTHUS ((Shinning) and keyboardist Ståle STORLØKKEN (Supersilent) are completed by bassist Nicolai HÆNGSLE EILERTSEN to make a power trio that can rival the best, beit in the great 70's decade or in the last two.

Their sole album (so far) was recorded in late 2007 and released early next year on the Rune Grammofon label under the weird and misleading name of "Dodovoodoo", which would suit a DVD much better. The music developed is a sizzling hot jazz-rock (more the early 70's-type ala Mwandishi or Mahavishnu) rather than the cooler and more ethnic later 70's fusion. But mixed in there are some heavy keyboards (Fender Rhodes but also Hammond organ) that make you think of Herbie Hancock and Keith Emerson (in the more symphonic interventions) or Dave Stewart without the fuzz. I am impatiently waiting for a little brother from this bunch.

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Walk the NileWalk the Nile
Rune Grammofon 2010
Audio CD$12.74
$12.71 (used)
DodovoodooDodovoodoo
Rune Grammofon 2008
Audio CD$40.62 (used)
Dodovoodoo by Rune Grammofon (2008-06-24)Dodovoodoo by Rune Grammofon (2008-06-24)
Rune Grammofon (2008-06-24)
Audio CD$1,248.91
Elephant9 Walk The Nile Other SwingElephant9 Walk The Nile Other Swing
Records
Audio CD$33.23
$47.93 (used)
Silver Mountain by Elephant9 (2016-05-04)Silver Mountain by Elephant9 (2016-05-04)
Rune Grammofon
Audio CD$79.44
Right Now on Ebay (logo)

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ELEPHANT9 discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ELEPHANT9 top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.79 | 47 ratings
Dodovoodoo
2008
3.76 | 64 ratings
Walk The Nile
2010
3.80 | 32 ratings
Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Atlantis
2012
3.98 | 44 ratings
Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Silver Mountain
2015

ELEPHANT9 Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Live At The BBC
2011

ELEPHANT9 Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ELEPHANT9 Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ELEPHANT9 Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ELEPHANT9 Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Silver Mountain by ELEPHANT9 album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.98 | 44 ratings

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Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Silver Mountain
Elephant9 Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars "Silver Mountain" is the latest offering from ELEPHANT9 and yes guitarist Reine Fiske is back. I was surprised how different this album is when compared to the previous ones. Guldbamsen mentioned a Krautrock vibe which I completely agree with but i'd also mention Miles Davis electric period as having an influence despite there being no horns on this album. Just the way they jam and the way the organ often seems to boil under the surface. I kept waiting for them all to break out but it rarely happens here. This is a trippy album that is often subdued and comes across as being improvised jams. The thing is we get four lights out musicians who have done something really special here in my opinion.

It's hard not to say that keyboardist Stale Storlokken is the star here. His work with SUPERSILENT, MOTORPSYCHO and Terje Rypdal to name a few is incredible to say the least. He plays Fender Rhodes, Hammond Organ, mellotron, synths and a variety of keyboards to perfection and they are often distorted thankfully. Bass player Nicolai Eilertsen who plays with MOSTER! and BIG BANG could be more prominent in the mix but his playing is amazing. Reine Fiske(PAATOS, DUNGEN, LANDBERK) is prominent at times but takes a role not so dissimilar to the one James Mac Gaw from MAGMA has, and he is fantastic as usual. Drummer Torstein Lofthus from SHINING and other bands is a definite leader here as his drumming is very upfront and impressive as it could possibly be.

This is a long one, a double vinyl album clocking in at 76 minutes but much like "Bitches Brew" the time flies by. "Occidentali" has such a trippy sound to it with percussion and mellotron standing out early on. A calm arrives after 3 1/2 minutes and it's quite spacey. It kicks back in at 5 1/2 minutes and they are just killing it here. Check out the drums and keyboards! Nasty stuff. Distorted keyboards after 7 1/2 minutes followed by a calm after 8 minutes. Mellotron follows a minute later. A catchy beat with distorted keys and more kick in around 10 minutes to the end. Nice. "You Are the Sunshine Of My Life" is spacey and experimental to start with not a lot going on. Some pulsating organ joins in. This is so enjoyable, so trippy. Love the intricate guitar lines as well.

"Abhartach" sounds so good with that beat, distortion and mellotron. It's very repetitive until a change arrives after 2 minutes. Keyboards come to the fore and man can he play, so innovative! The mellotron is back before 6 minutes then it all turns more intense. "Kungsten" kicks into gear suddenly around 30 seconds in with drums out front as other sounds come and go. The drumming is outstanding! There's this intensity that makes me think this is about to explode at any second but it all stops before 7 1/2 minutes as relaxed organ runs come in. It kicks back in before 10 minutes with some Canterbury styled distorted keys. Nice. They're jamming and the organ and guitar are destroying it big time 13 minutes in. A change follows as it turns mellow and beautiful until the elephants stampede the soundscape after 18 minutes. My God!

"The Above Ground Sound" has a Krautrock vibe to start as we get this repetitive jam of keys and drums mostly. It's fairly minimalistic really. It's getting more intense 5 1/2 minutes in until it's just plain nasty. A calm follows before 8 minutes with acoustic guitar as a beat and organ join in. It's building 11 minutes in until we get another calm before 12 1/2 minutes then experimental sounds start to come and go as the drums rumble relentlessly. The guitar starts to scream before another calm arrives 18 1/2 minutes in as this beat with a Krautrock vibe takes over with distortion as it trips along.

You can't go wrong with any of the four studio albums this band has released but this one and "Dodovoodoo" are my favourites so far. One of the best from 2015 for sure.

 Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Atlantis by ELEPHANT9 album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.80 | 32 ratings

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Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Atlantis
Elephant9 Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Progrussia

3 stars I met the elephants of Elephant9 thru fellow Norwegians Motorpsycho, with which they share several collaborators and a penchant for English word-play, although musically the bands are quite different. Elephant is free-form ("jazzy"), keyboard-dominated (in fact, their line-up doesn't feature a guitarist, although a guitarist works with them sometimes) heavy jam band. There are almost no self-evident melodies or grooves to speak of, except maybe for the foundation of the first part of Freedom's Children. A few tracks are quiet, or have quiter sections (the ominous, but slow-building first part of Atlantis, for example), but the rest amounts to white-noise thunder to my gentle ears. Definitely an acquired taste, and I dare someone to tell me they can take this in just one sitting.
 Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Atlantis by ELEPHANT9 album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.80 | 32 ratings

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Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Atlantis
Elephant9 Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Norwegian trio Elephant 9 offer their most dense, complex and varied work to date with their third studio album `Atlantis'. Joined by quietly renowned guitarist Reine Fiske of Dungen, Landberk and the defining Paatos release with their debut `Timeloss', this instrumental album is endlessly delirious, aggressive and deeply immersive. The comparisons in the past to Emerson, Lake and Palmer are mostly vanquished, instead the band offer something far more deranged and messy, very heavily psychedelic and, if anything, some evocative and subtle ambient passages and wilder sonic outbursts share more in common with Krautrock, a factor only deliciously highlighted by the stripped back and occasionally murky production.

With an ominous foghorn-like beckoning and a rattle of intent, opener `Black Hole' tears the album to life, a battery of ferocious unceasing pummelling drums, blitzkrieg Hammond, Fender Rhodes and piano runs and bass so thick it's virtually a slab of concrete, all lurching in and out of the dirtiest of unexpected grooves. `The Riddler' opens crystalline and dream-like before racing through a propulsive heavy groaning blast of Hammond fury, with a tasty spiralling Rhodes melody weaving around. Fiske now enters the album for the twelve minute title track, a gradually unfolding kraut/heavy psych improvisation of droning guitar and Hammond organ atmospheres that initially reminds of little traces of the spiritual era Santana band albums and early Pink Floyd, before taking a darker turn with a building drum-beat, stalking bass, unhinged electric piano and distorted guitar grinding bristling with danger.

The gentle acoustic guitars and shimmering electronics of `A Foot in Both' call to mind both the early Agitation Free and Popul Vuh albums, and the aptly named ten minute `Psychedelic Backfire' is an infernal march of harsh electronic drones and crushing plodding electric guitar doom before settling into slinking bass and Hammond grooves. `A Place in Neither' is an almost funky and brisk fusion interlude, and the album closes on a near-fourteen minute jam `Freedom's Children', a frantic, fun and relentless crash of acid rock fuzzy wailing guitar fire, thrashing driving beats, swirling keyboard violations and grumbling pulsing bass all swept up into a vacuum of noise.

`Atlantis' demands endless replays to truly appreciate, an Initially quite intimidating work that takes it's time to reveal so many subtle layers in amongst all the noise and bluster. It's sure to be a more divisive work for followers of the band, and probably those interested in the E.L.P-like qualities often associated with the group will be in for a bit of an abrupt shock, and very likely may want to put their heads through the wall! But the album is an absolute triumph of exploratory heavy prog, and is Elephant 9's defining statement to date.

Four stars.

 Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Atlantis by ELEPHANT9 album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.80 | 32 ratings

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Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Atlantis
Elephant9 Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.5 stars. Norway's own ELEPHANT9 are back trampling everything and everyone in their path. This time they've brought along Swedish guitar legend (in my world he is) Reine Fiske to add his psychedelic and fuzzed out guitar to the mix. I guess this was just in case we weren't all freaked out enough by their first two studio albums. Yes i'm holding up my white flag, please take me prisoner !

We get two songs before Reine arrives so lets look at them first. "Black Hole" is a 9 minute ride into chaos as the drums pound with relentless precision as the bass digs deep and the organ just flat out spreads it's nastiness all over God's green earth. Not for the faint of heart people. It's even haunting towards the end just in case your hair wasn't yet standing up straight. "The Riddler" is more about atmosphere until it kicks in hard before 1 1/2 minutes. My God ! It does settle back and yet this is far from being anything close to calm as they continue to storm the soundscape. Man the drumming is so impressive and the organ is simply nasty and anything but normal. "Atlantis" is calm to open with floating organ-like atmosphere and more. Things start to build 2 minutes in it would appear but then it settles back. Beautiful stuff here as Reine's guitar cries out. A change before 5 minutes as a steady beat takes over as the organ and guitar continue. The guitar is almost screaming 7 minutes in as Reine starts to rip it up. This continues to the end.

"A Foot In Both" has Reine on nylon- string guitar while the bass player strums a 12 string acoustic on this one.Guitar and keyboards lead early. Cool stuff and fairly laid back too. Drums after 3 1/2 minutes help out. Good song. "Psychedelic Backfire" is slow to build but there's something evil about to burst forth you just know it. Dark is the word after 2 minutes. It's like waves of dark psychedelia coming down on us again and again until a change 5 minutes in. Growly organ, a beat, bass and guitar then start to lead but there's still no light. Great ending too in this amazing track. "A Place In Neither" is brighter and more alive as drums and electric piano standout in this short 2 minute tune. "Freedom's Children" opens with some excellent guitar and organ as the drums pound. So good. It settles back after 2 1/2 minutes then kicks in again quickly. Great sound ! Check out Reine after 5 1/2 minutes. Nice. This is intense the rest of the way like a runaway train.

Man i'd love to see these guys in concert with Reine on stage with them. My kind of music !

 Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Atlantis by ELEPHANT9 album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.80 | 32 ratings

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Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Atlantis
Elephant9 Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars Third album (if you don't count a vinyl-only live album) from this Norwegian keyboard-lead trio, but this time with the addition of a famous Swedish guitarist called Reine Fiske (Landberk, Paatos & Dungen) for over half the seven tracks. Basically, you're dealing with the usual Elephant9 album (even down to the boring-as-usual Rune-Grammofon label artwork) but with the notable input from one of Scandinavia's most exciting and "out-there" (as in psych) guitarist, which adds a considerable element that can answer Storlokken's wide array of keyboards that include a Rhodes, a Hammond, a Minimoog and piano. Oh yeah, bassist Ellertsen plays also some acoustic 12- strings as well.

Even the opening Black Hole sounds like the chaotic quagmire announced in its title, but the power and interplay between the three compadres is simply irresistible: you'll have the sound up to 11 in no time. A Foot In Both is a much quieter and pensive affair, where Ellertsen's 12-strings guitar takes the lead role above the moog and organ layers. The title track opens on smooth keyboard layers, but gradually Fiske's guitar draws the controlled chaos with its feedback

The long anxiogenic thunder rolls of Psychedellic Backfire suggest that we're in the last throes of the lost mythological Atlantis civilization, where the tsunami waves attack regularly the cliffs of what were once a continent and now only a chaplet of reef. Once the waves have done their destruction, the booming bass and sinister Hammond drones are describing explosion of pockets of molten magma flowing from your speakers and coming in contact with whatever's left of Atlantis' trade goods storage buildings.

Elsewhere, the dominating element in the short A Place In Neither is the demented Ellertsen bass riff. Hendrixian feedback guitar is dominating the first part of the 13-mins+ Freedom's Children, which sports its name quite well. The middle sections speeds up and goes bonkers gradually and starts saturating until its chaotic and explosive end.

Well, despite the addition of Fike, Atlantis is certainly well in the artistic line of E9's discography, while adding a little "je-ne-sais-quoi" (guitars of course) as icing on the cake; and I take the bet that it's probably going to be the apex of the band, unless they add more musicians

 Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Atlantis by ELEPHANT9 album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.80 | 32 ratings

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Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Atlantis
Elephant9 Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by JonnyM79

4 stars Elephant9 are back with their distinctive power trio sound. The Organ-Bass-Drums combination (still sounding like an angry Medeski Martin & Wood on a combination of steroids and speed) is there but this time augmented on several tracks by Reine Fiske - a guitar player I confess I know nothing about - but who plays in an angular electric style somewhere between John McLaughlin and Robert Fripp. The effect of this - plus whatever fiddling Stale Storlokken has been doing with his Organ (ho-ho) has lead to a harder sound that has put a bit more rock into their jazz-rock fusion sound.

For all of that there are still moments when the bass (more prominent and inventive) still catches a seriously funky beat for the organ to improvise around in a Headhunters style workout, and these provide some of the album highlights in Atlantis and Freedom's Children, but most noticeably in the opening track - where I do not know how Storlokken generates the tortured noises he does from his organ - until I looked I assumed it was a distorted electric guitar - are Emerson-style knives involved? Contrast this to the gentle acoustic playing on A Foot In The Bath and the sound seems more varied than previous albums - a band not afraid to experiment

This album confirms that Elephant9 remain the world's bets and most creative Organ power- trio. It should be loved by any Jazz-rock fusion fan and the rockier edge should make it an excellent access point to the genre for fans of heavier prog. Highly recommended.

 Dodovoodoo by ELEPHANT9 album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.79 | 47 ratings

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Dodovoodoo
Elephant9 Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Norwegian jamming Jazz-Rock/Prog trio.The formation of the band was an idea of drummer Torstein Lofthus and bassist Nikolai Hængsle Eilertsen,who called Stale Storløkken to contribute on keyboard duties.Only two rehearsals were enough for the trio to decided to move on in a more stable basis,so Elephant9 was born.After some gigs they entered the studio to record their debut ''Dodovoodoo'', released finally on the Oslo-based label Rune Grammofon.

The album presents a band full of energy,creativity but also an improvisation mood but with a very tight and unique playing.''Dodovoodoo'' sees Storløkken delivering double keyboard attacks,often surrounding his jazzy dominant electric piano with obscure synth work.He also uses the Hammond organ in a frenetic way,reminding of the 70's, when a young KEITH EMERSON was torturing his own Hammond on stage.Impressive performance to say the least,accompanied by a poweful and dynamic drummer and a strong bass player playing fast and furious bass lines,this one must be one of the most dynamic rhythm sections ever.The influences are many,from the jazzier and more improvisational side of E.L.P. to the abstract offering of Canterbury bands like THE SOFT MACHINE or HATFIELD AND THE NORTH.Additionally the album contains also some spacier parts with hypnotic bass lines, background synths and distinctive electric piano to make Elephant9's sound a bit more diverse.

This album contains a vast amount of music power and often sounds like a jamming session than a well-arranged effort.For the mystified of the style,this is a pure delight,though I recognize many will have a hard time absorbing all this dense energy.Still the album desreves a warm recommemdation,for this is a trio with good ideas and a very rich sound.

 Dodovoodoo by ELEPHANT9 album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.79 | 47 ratings

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Dodovoodoo
Elephant9 Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Big pounding drums, swirling Hammond organs, eerie sounds and chunky bass engaging. This Norwegian collective know their chops and deliver an album with improvisations that are both free and tight, rocking and at the same time spontaneous.

Just like the follow-up "Walk The Nile", I instantly would want to buy tickets to see them in concert, but at home this album never sets the house on fire. A recommendable feature for most, but I prefer music that does. It's hard to tell what's missing, but I blame the lack of really memorable grooves and compositions that similar sounding bands like Guapo and One Shot have for instance. The atmosphere and intensity is present though and the playing is wonderful.

Despite my misgivings this is an enjoyable album from a great band. Overall I prefer it to "Walk The Nile", and the album gets better and more weird towards the end, where "Direction" ends the album on a high note. 3.5 stars

 Walk The Nile by ELEPHANT9 album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.76 | 64 ratings

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Walk The Nile
Elephant9 Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Second album from this Norwegian instrumental Hammond-driven power trio, much in the same line of their debut, not least in the similar artwork department, despite being much less in the JR/F mode than before. Still depending on Storlokken's keyboard madness on two of prog's most legendary instruments, the Hammond organ and the Fender Rhodes electric piano (much-under used here), the group's music explodes with power from your speakers and grabs you by the gut as you're literally hypnotized by the generous growls of the organ, pushed by the powerful and driving (but not always refined) drumming from Lofthus and the rollicking and frolicking bass from Eilertsen.

Much like their previous album, the spectrum is relatively varied, ranging from an ELP-like workout Fugi Fonix, Hardcore Oriental (well I wouldn't call it far-east, either) and Aviation, to the much-slower intimate piece with the Hammond drones of the awesome almost- ambient and nightmarish title track, to a jammy-jazzy Habanera Rocket (don't ask;o))) and the over-powering closer. As a 70's vintage sounds freak, you'll find Walk The Nile a rather irresistible as it will flatter you eardrums into submissions by sending tingue of sonic orgasms directly into your frontal lobes.

Unfortunately, despite a fairly-wide spectrum and always enthralling power, what lacks in this album (and in retrospect to their debut) is a different colour, or an instrument to add and answers Storlokken's keyboards (something that also plagued his 'mentor' Emerson), maybe a guitarist or a wind player. Indeed, once the opening pleasure of discovering the album, by the fifth spin, it sort of becomes a little saturating to listen to it in a full session, because it's a bit too much of the same, because Storlokken doesn't switch enough instruments. The other remark I have is that the drumming might have been a bit more subtle at times (not as loud as well) and better recorded, especially at the start of the closing John Tinnick track, the only non-Storlokken composition.

While this album figured in my top 10 releases of 2010 (which is quite a compliment), it's not likely to make a lasting impression throughout the still-long decade to come, so I wouldn't call the album essential. But this doesn't make any less worthy of acquisition, if only for the sake of the odd musical orgasmic jolt you'll enjoy. Happy premature intellectual ejaculation.

 Walk The Nile by ELEPHANT9 album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.76 | 64 ratings

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Walk The Nile
Elephant9 Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars You got to love how this album sounds, big pounding drums full of depth and attack, grinding Hammond organs wrenching out the eeriest possible sounds and a rumbling bass engaging in a twirling battle with the drums. These guys know how to interact musically and I wouldn't doubt a second to go and see them live in concert if I had the chance to do so. I'm sure they set the place on fire!

When it comes to the actual compositions, or rather improvisations, I'm less enthusiastic. The album is a great listen but it rarely leaves a lasting impression. The opener for instance translates ELP's Barbarian to a place 40 years further in time and it does that quite successfully, but it's still no match for the original. Also Hardcore and John Tinnick are two more short tracks that follow the same early ELP organ-heavy Gothic vibe. Great work.

Unfortunately, two of the longer pieces (Aviation and Habanera Rocket) quickly become a dull listen, despite the swinging drum and bass interaction. The endless organ jamming doesn't do it for me I guess. Walk the Nile on the other hand is magnificent and easily the album's highlight with its ominous spooky atmosphere. This song manages to maintain an unsettling tension for its full duration. The organ is remarkably more experimental and explorative here.

If we're talking modern power trios with drums, bass and then I'll have to place this album a level behind Guapo. The musical talent in the band is sure abundant, but they haven't managed to make their music satisfyingly memorable. I'm told the preceding album was stronger in that respect. Still, love that sound!

Thanks to Sean Trane for the artist addition. and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates

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