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Eclectic Prog • Sweden

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Makajodama biography
Makajodama hail from Sweden and consist of members already known within the Swedish prog scene: Mathias Danielsson, guitarist for fellow proggers, Gösta Berlings Saga and Mattias Ankarbrauth who drummed with The Carpet Knights - both of which are included here on progarchives. Both Mathias and Mattias came together to start a band that created music that could not be contained by a particular genre. With this goal in mind, Mathias began to write music. During this process, his aspirations would be realized even further when one day it occurred to him that someone living in a nearby apartment was playing the violin. It took a month to locate this mysterious violin player -- Johan Klint -- but when he was found, he convinced Johan to join the band. It was not long before Johan recommended Karin Larsdotter, a cellist who was interested in improvisation. This cemented a steady line-up for the band and their creative ambitions are now being realized.

After hearing their first release, the self-titled "Makajodama", these ambitions have been realized. Tracks such as 'Autumn Suite' explore all of the modern classical trappings that might be heard in Univers Zero or a Shostakovich piece; 'The Ayurvedic Soap' would fit perfectly on King Crimson's "Larks' Tongues In Aspic'. Makajodama is a must have for fans of dark, improvisational and chamber-esque prog.

----- William Sullivan -----

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3.69 | 30 ratings

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Makajodama by MAKAJODAMA album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.69 | 30 ratings

Makajodama Eclectic Prog

Review by Triceratopsoil

4 stars Swarthy, moody and eclectic, Makajodama's self-titled debut is an interesting instrumental work of varying levels of brilliance. Ranging stylistically from eccentric guitar-based ramblings to gentle folky rock to moderately lengthy symphonic pieces, there is hardly a bland moment on this album. I am curious as to what this band could accomplish with a vocalist, but lacking one they still manage to keep things fresh. Makajodama's widely-varying influences show through their music, but never to the point of being derivative. Featuring a large variety of instruments in one way through which Makajodama keeps their music absorbing, including my favourite instrument of all time, the tuba. How can one not love an album with tuba?

Fans of the classic eclectic prog, symphonic prog and Canterbury scene bands should find Makajodama engaging and intriguing. Makajodama also exhibits aspects of RIO, prog folk, space rock, post-rock, and "heavy prog" in their music. Really, anybody should at least find this album tolerable.

 Makajodama by MAKAJODAMA album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.69 | 30 ratings

Makajodama Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars What caught my attention with this band was the picture of them with ANEKDOTEN's Nicklas Barker. Turns out he mixed this album for his fellow Swedes. GOSTA BERLINGS SAGA's former lead guitarist is part of this band along with the drummer from THE CARPET KNIGHTS. Like GOSTA BERLINGS SAGA this is all instrumental music but that's really the only connection other than the guitarist. This music is very cello / violin dominated while GOSTA BERLING SAGA's music is more guitar / keyboard led.

"Reodor Felgen Blues" has this steady beat as intricate guitar, deep bass and violin standout.A change 1 1/2 minutes in to a more powerful sound. I like it. Another change before 5 minutes to a mellow soundscape. It kicks back in heavily after 7 minutes.Violin before 9 minutes. "Buddha And The Camel" opens with acoustic guitar, bass then violin as drums beat away. A change as electric guitar comes in. Flute follows then guitar takes the lead as mellotron joins in. Violin is back before 8 minutes. "Wolof" is a short tune with birds singing throughout as guitar, violin and a beat comes in. "The Train Of Thought" is violin led then keys and drums take over. Violin is back before 3 1/2 minutes, mellotron too.

"The Ayurvedic Soap" is led by violin and bass as drums join in. It settles before 2 minutes. The violin is crying out with the bass pounding along. Cello also joins. A change after 7 minutes to the end. "Vallingby Revisited" has a catchy beat with bass and drums as guitar and violin come and go. Sax before 1 1/2 minutes. "The Girls At The Marches" is laid back as violin with some sort of screeching in the background comes in. A change before 4 minutes as we get a good chunky beat, great sound here. It settles 6 minutes in. "Autumn Suite" opens with violin. Drums a minute in. It settles a minute later to chamber-like music. It picks up 3 1/2 minutes then settles again. Sitar 7 1/2 minutes in.

I put this on a par with GOSTA BERLINGS SAGA's debut even though they are very different from one another. Flashes of brilliance here but way more passages of violin led music that just doesn't do a lot for me.

 Makajodama by MAKAJODAMA album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.69 | 30 ratings

Makajodama Eclectic Prog

Review by WillieThePimp

4 stars - - - 3.5 out of 5 stars for this one!

A enjoyable first album from Sweden's eclectic, chamber, post-rockin' quartet. The album is wonderfully complete even if I still feel that it lacks a certain overall cohesiveness and tends to repeat itself a little. I think the repetition lies in the extended use of 'jams' in the rhythm section; the improvised nature of this record is what elevates it to wonderful heights and kind of mediocre, middles for me. Thankfully the moments that stand out, really stick with you: the bass lines are as memorable as anything Roger Waters played on Dark Side of the Moon and the orchestral arrangements are very professional, while still sounding improvised in many places. This band has stated that it does not want to use genre classifications for its music and it is very evident in the way this album is composed. I will definitely be watching all future releases from this band.

A track by track review...

1. Reodor Felgen Blues (10:15) : An instant classic right from the beginning; an atmosphere of Larks' Tongues/Red era Crimson fills the environ being created in the beginning by this Swedish quartet. Not a minute and a half pass by before this bassy and groovy aura is split in half by a most perfect crash, which subsequently creates an aura of fearful splendor, leading the song into its next phase. Eventually things cool down again, but not for long as a repeat storm looms around the next corner, taking the song to its end.

2. Buddha and the Camel (9:25): An acoustic track that invokes some of the moods presented on Anekdoten's "The War Is Over" and "Karelia". A pleasant exchange of sombre violin, acoustic guitar and bird calls. An electrified, psychedelic solo emerges from this and woodwinds accompany it.

3. Wolof (2:31): Almost a continuation of the previous track, acoustic guitar and birds are caught up in a rhapsody while an interesting tuba - at least I think it's a tuba - line meanders through the composition.

4. The Train of Thought (6:58): Post-rock that features arpeggiated violins and an interesting bit of twangy slide guitar textures, building but never quite exploding in epic fanfare, crescendo. Excellent meditative track.

5. The Ayurvedic Soap (7:42): Chamber-rock with a jazz bass backing. Propelled by the rising drum beat while violins lead a demented melody and wind instruments solo like Hendrix and the band of Gypsys.

6. Vallingby Revisited (3:00): An improvisation piece, jazzy.

7. The Girls at the Marches (8:16): A near perfect post-rock track that shows some Pink Floyd influence. The guitar tone on this track is the most memorable part, delayed and whammy inflected chords lead into a driving cello surge that instantly put this piece in a place where God Is An Astronaut usually inhabits. The track ends with a spacey vibration that has the timbre of what I can only describe as an electric harmonica.

8. Autumn Suite (8:29): Equal measures of dissonant and melodious bursts of chamber orchestration reminiscent of Univers Zero. This track is wonderfully made, kind of reminding me of a piece under the direction of Frank Zappa on Hot Rats. Also features a sitar.

Favorite tracks: (1) Reodor Felgen Blues, (2) Buddha and the Camel, (7) The Girls at the Marches and (8) Autumn Suite

Thanks to WillieThePimp for the artist addition.

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