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KVARTETTEN SOM SPRANGDE

Crossover Prog • Sweden


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Kvartetten Som Sprangde biography
From the beginning Kvartetten som sprängde reallly was a quartet. Named after a famous book by Birger Sjöberg (not related to Finn). The setting was Hammond organ, drums, guitar and a singer, Margareta Söderberg. Soon she thought that her folk and medieval style did not perfectly fit in with the rest of the group. At that point, instead of changing name, the name became a joke - the quartet that was a trio.

So the quartet was
- Fred Hellman, Hammond organ
- Rune Carlsson, drums
- Finn Sjöberg, guitar & flute

2 records were made:
- 1973 -Kattvals on Gump (Metronome)
- Valhall, backing up Bernt Staf (Silence)

Info from this site: http://www.finnsjoberg.se/html/top/memLanes/Kvartetten.html

Kvartetten Som Sprangde official website

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3.53 | 16 ratings
Kattvals
1973

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KVARTETTEN SOM SPRANGDE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Kattvals by KVARTETTEN SOM SPRANGDE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.53 | 16 ratings

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Kattvals
Kvartetten Som Sprangde Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Great but extremely short-lived Swedish trio.Fred Hellman on keyboards played with the bands Down Beat Crowd and Zoom in the 60's, while drummer Rune Carlsson had already entered the Swedish Progg scene as a collaborator of Bo Hansson and Björn J:son Lindh.The trio was completed with talented guitarist Finn Sjöberg, who played also the flute and bass.Kvartetten Som Sprängde's only album came out in 1973 on the tiny Gump label.

With a mix of Psychedelic Rock and certain Classical, Jazz and Scandinavian inspirations, Kvartetten Som Sprängde played an interesting Prog Fusion with an elaborate sound, which often bursts extreme amounts of energy and fading 60's colors through the heavy use of (Farfisa?) organ.Bands like KEBNEKAISE, HANSSON & KARLSSON and RAGNAROK are the most obvious comparisons.Led by a flawless drumming and some intense grooves, the music passes through folky tunes, played on Sjoberg's guitar, and massive, heavy organ runs to jazzy textures and haunting, Classical-drenched themes, the comfort of the trio to switch between different moods being absolutely incredible.The vintage organ comes from late-60's and the jazzy flavors are cleverly adapted in a Heavy/Psych Rock matrix.At times these guys get even virtuosic and pretty loose with nice jams and furious solos, but soon they will get back in a structured mode with the Scandinavian taste being all around.The result is complex enough and well-crafted music, filled with rich and emphatic passages, you will hardly believe that only three musicians could create such dense musical ideas.

The trio backed up Bernt Staf on his solo album ''Valhall'' from the same year, before disbanding.Sjoberg had the best career of all three guys, releasing a personal album in 1978 and appearing in numerous albums as a guest musician, he also collaborated with Bo Hansson in 1975, while Carlsson, who had a strong Jazz background, remained involved mostly in Jazz-related projects.

Very nice jazzy, instrumental Psych/Prog, performed with passion.Great purchase for all fans of 70's Scandinavian Prog, as a couple of resissues do exist.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Kattvals by KVARTETTEN SOM SPRANGDE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.53 | 16 ratings

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Kattvals
Kvartetten Som Sprangde Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars KVARTETTEN SOM SPRANGDE were an obscure Swedish band who released just one album back in 1973. The band's name means "The quartet that blew up". They were a quartet originally but at this point they are a trio of drums, guitar and organ although we do get some piano and flute. I'm sure this band was influenced by fellow Swedes FLASKET BRINNER as they play in that same jamming style only this band might be a little more dynamic with more prominant organ.

While FLASKET BRINNER might be the band they closest resemble that doesn't hold true on the opening track "Andesamba". This is SANTANA influenced all the way. Love the groove of this one with the abundance of percussion, organ and ripping guitar. A calm after 2 minutes as the organ dominates then the guitar and drums return 3 1/2 minutes in as the organ continues. "Pa En Sten" is mellow as flute and a light beat lead early on. The organ floats in then the guitar replaces the flute after a minute. Piano replaces the guitar after 3 minutes then the flute is back to end it.

"Ganglat Fran Valhallavagen" opens with what sounds like cow bells as the organ floats in and the guitar helps out. The drums come in replacing the bells.This is really FLASKET BRINNER-like here. Love the guitar as the organ and drums continue. The organ leads after 4 1/2 minutes then the guitar leads after 7 minutes once again. "Kattvals" is actually fairly similar to the previous track in style as they jam. The organ leads after 2 minutes. "The Sudden Grace" is a smokey number as the guitar comes in around a minute while that catchy beat with organ continues. The organ leads after 2 minutes. Nice. The guitar is back before 4 minutes. "Vagspel" is mellow with floating organ throughout. Cool tune. "Olandsshuffle" is an uptempo jam with the guitar and organ taking turns leading.

For me this is a solid 4 star instrumental album.

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 Kattvals by KVARTETTEN SOM SPRANGDE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.53 | 16 ratings

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Kattvals
Kvartetten Som Sprangde Crossover Prog

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

3 stars Swedish leopard doing the waltz

The name of this band most likely comes from the 1926 Birger Sjöberg novel bearing the same name. Briefly told, the story evolves around a string quartet from a small town in Sweden that starts speculating in the stock market. Kattvals means cat waltz... Alright I´m glad we got that out of the way, and now since all things are about as clear as mud - let´s be on our way to this delicious little place in space and time, where the Hammond organ bubbles like sleeping crocodiles. Whatever hidden meaning there might be behind this album - it simply eludes me. No matter though, because this album doesn´t need an overall coherence apart from the tracks that musically all seem close like family. It´s through and through instrumental, although the organ runs together with the delicately played guitar solos basically work as lead vocals.

If you enjoy the organ playing of John Lord and Vincent Crane mixed up with a sleepy Carlos Santana, who just got back from Woodstock still mildly overpowered by the brown acid that just earlier had led him to believe that his Gibson SG was a serpent, - then by all means jump on board this Swedish ear massage. It´s not the most innovative thing out there, and by 1973 the hard rock trio consisting of drums, guitar and organ was starting to wear a bit thin, BUT Kattvals works none the less.

From the Santanaesque starter to the folky Gånglåt från Valhallavägen, that reminds me of Swedish band Kebnekaise, - all these tunes share a common goal: Make it swing and flow - make it sound eloquent and soothing like cool yogurt on your painful sun burnt scrotum. There´s no fuzz or deliberate attempts to make "progressive" music here, the album just goes without any hold ups or hesitations, which leads way to its biggest attribute. It´s honest and it does not pretend to be a continuation or a rehash of any of the formerly mentioned artists.

Just to paint a better picture of this record, I´ll loosely transcript the sounds of the title song Kattvals. The warm and jazzy drums lays down the beat with a stuttering organ rhythmically dancing its way into the track. Then a subtle bass appears gently inducing the track - adding depth and contours to the Hammond organ that by now is singing like Placido Domingo with a mouth full of olive oil. The guitar suddenly heads out of the background - serenading like a blue blues, and now we´re really setting off for the land of soft fusion and gummi bears. Like all the different tracks here, it´s the small things that make the music jump and breath - just like putting salt on a tomato and suddenly realizing the actual flavor of such a remarkable fruit(Yes boyo it´s a fruit, no matter how ridiculous that sounds).

Recommended to fans of dim lighting, show-dancing and boat rides on small lakes. If you ever find yourself in the mood for a soundtrack to accompany your Swedish crayfish adventures and those highly intoxicating bottles of Aquavit, then by all means start searching high and low for this charming cat waltz. It´s a playful and friendly kitten this one.

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 Kattvals by KVARTETTEN SOM SPRANGDE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.53 | 16 ratings

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Kattvals
Kvartetten Som Sprangde Crossover Prog

Review by ozzy_tom
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Kattvals" is a little known gem of Swedish 70s prog-rock scene. It's a pity that most of ambitious rock fans don't know "Kvartetten Som Sprängde" band and their only album. Their music is a combination of instrumental psychedelic rock, jazz-rock, heavy prog and some Scandinavian folk influences. Thanks to omnipresent organ floods they can be easily compared to other Swedish group "Hansson & Karlsson", however Finn Sjöberg's electric guitar makes a significant difference and brings to mind parallels to British heavy proggers from "Atomic Rooster".

Let's review these 7 great, instrumental tracks one by one:

1. "Andesamba" - fantastic, slightly schizophrenic beginning full of wild Hammond riffs and busy, Santanesque percussion. After 2 minutes tempo becomes a bit lower and we can enjoy some nostalgic guitar soloing.

2. "På en sten" - jazzy composition with relaxed tempo and non obstructive guitar playing, based upon warm organ background. In the second half of the song Fred Hellman proves that he can play piano as well as organ and Finn Sjöberg supports him with his charming, folk-influenced flute sounds.

3. "Gånglåt från Valhallavägen" - the longest and the best track on the album. I love this Scandinavian folk melody which reminds me of medieval, Viking times of "heroes & dragons" and so on. At first music is led by gorgeous guitar lines and later Hammond "strikes back" with extremely well played, nostalgic notes. There's just impossible that you won't tap your feet while listening to this pure gem. I'm sure that Pär Lindh & Björn Johansson were inspired by this band and were listening to them a lot before their 3 albums - "Bilbo", "Discus Ursi" & "Dreamsongs From Middle Earth" - were recorded.

4. "Kattvals" - track which gave a title for the whole album is a very energetic instrumental full of flashy, almost ELP-ish organ solos. Successful mix of heavy prog soloing, jazzy rhythms and folk guitar melodies.

5. "The Sudden Grace" - another winner of the album! It's mainly Hammond-led freak out but with enough guitar moments to keep everyone happy. Can be easily compared to Atomic Rooster's instrumentals but it's more melodic and restraint.

6. "Vågspel" - it's a composition which the most reminds me music of "Hansson & Karlsson" duo. Situation of complete lack of guitar gives a space for melancholic organ floods. Really relaxed, highly melodic piece.

7. "Ölandsshuffle" - very energetic but slightly too repetitive tune, this time rather dominated by guitar riffs, however Fred also plays 2 tasteful jazzy organ solos here. Nothing special but enjoying track.

Overall "Kattvals" is a hidden gem of Swedish music which should be especially entertaining for fans of organ-driven prog-rock with melancholic, "Scandinavian" feel, just like "Hansson & Karlsson", "Fläsket Brinner", "Sound Express", "Råg i Ryggen", "Swedish Family", "Bootcut" and "Pär Lindh & Björn Johansson". Fans of "Atomic Rooster" and early "Santana" should also like these exciting organ/guitar duels included on the album.

Surely worth 4 solid stars.

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Thanks to chris s for the artist addition.

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