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FORENINGEN TIL LIVETS BESKYTTELSE

Prog Folk • Denmark


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Foreningen Til Livets Beskyttelse biography
The group FORENINGEN TIL LIVETS BESKYTTELSE ('Society for the Protection of Life') were born out of a collective of hippie musicians and artists in early seventies Denmark. The band recorded one album for the fledgling Spectator Records label and another, more of a concept record, that was released on the odd German Odeon label before the group disappeared around 1972.

The band's sound combines light psychedelic and folk arrangements with both acoustic and electric instrumentation and warm, Nordic female vocals and can be compared to bands like FUREKABEN, KEBNEKAISE and (to a lesser extent) VIIMA.

>> Bio by Bob Moore (aka ClemofNazareth) <<

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3.93 | 6 ratings
Foreningen Til Livets Beskyttelse
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
Den Lille Prins
1972

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 Foreningen Til Livets Beskyttelse by FORENINGEN TIL LIVETS BESKYTTELSE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.93 | 6 ratings

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Foreningen Til Livets Beskyttelse
Foreningen Til Livets Beskyttelse Prog Folk

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars The hippie years of the 1960s and early 70s were filled with idealists who longed for returning to the land and create communes to get back into harmony with the planet and look within. The Scandinavian nation of Denmark was no exception to this trend. As with any gathering of kindred spirits, there are always a few musicians in the group which obviously leads to music being played and ultimately a band or two is formed. Located near Denmark's third largest city Aalborg in the northern reaches of the mainland peninsula was a small hippie commune which spawned the flower-power-hippie-psych-folk-prog band FORENINGEN TIL LIVETS BESKYTTELSE (Organisation to Protection of Life).

This group existed from roughly 1970-72 and in between all those commune duties managed to record this one self-titled album released in 1971 that mixed freak folk with more contemporary pop, country, Krautrock and even a little jazz to make a rather distinct sounding album that stands out from the numerous prog-tinged folkies of the era. The lineup consisted of Susanne Hamilton (vocals, guitar), Gorm Laggen (flute, saxophone), Christian Risg'rd Thomsen (keyboards, violin, harmonica), Malthe Enevold Nielsen (vocals, guitar), Erik Andersen (bass), Thomas Johansen (percussion) however there is a kazoo on the ending track 'Folketinget' along with a bunch of silly vocal games, i swear! While the acoustic guitar is dominant, there are also traces of the electric.

FORENINGEN TIL LIVETS BESKYTTELSE was similar to many other Danish bands such as Furekaaben from Copenhagen as well as the similar Den Like Prins which contained a few of the members in that everyone was in tune in and drop out mode and spent their days reconnecting to nature and to one another which in this case allowed a wonderful batch of nine tracks to find their way into the world before it all ended leaving this most rare of Danish musical artifacts. The lyrics while in Danish are said to be extremely naive and light-hearted with a happy sunshine pop sorta feel and even though i can't understand a word they are singing, seems to resonate as such. The vocals are handled almost exclusively by the angelic Susanne Hamilton but Malthe Nielsen also offered some male utterances.

The album is quite diverse with every track being solid. 'Elverkongen' opens things up and immediately what comes to mind for me is Denmark's version of Catherine Ribeiro with the same sort of passionate pleas and spiritual supplications however Hamilton is much more reserved and never enters the psychotic Voodoo ritualistic performances like Ribeiro could conjure up. The groovy Krautish bass groove of Erik Andersen most closely resembles that of neighboring Germany's Amon Duul II especially on the 'Yeti' album which emerged the same year as this album by FORENINGEN TIL LIVETS BESKYTTELSE. While the first track is clearly in the freak folk camp, the following 'Ulster (Det glade vanvid)' throws the first curve ball and sounds like a completely different band and the tracks comes off more as a square-dancing hoedown perhaps at the local church picnic complete with a Jew's harp doing the boing-boing thing!

'Betjent Larsen' returns back to psychedelic with a catchy sing-along pop melody and a bit of tribal drumming. Perhaps this should've been the single as i could see it hitting all hippie charts far and wide and the perfect break out yer guitar and play around the campfire song! 'Illusioner' takes things back to the dream world state of the first track but with arpeggiated acoustic guitar chords and a soft flute that is sort of in the Joni Mitchell mode of playing but not so high pitched. 'Loppercirkus' is the weirdest track with atonal piano rolls, a bizarre percussive groove on the bass and avant-garde floaty movements through strange tones and timbres with rotating tempos and vocal weirdness but it's only a minute and a half long and provides the fluffer responsibilities of ushering in the eight and a half minute hippie folk track 'M'gens fortalling' which sorta sounds like Nancy Sinatra on acid with a care-free little Danish chanson of love!

'Rary' is a narrated poem accompanied by beautiful guitar arpeggios and 'Fuldm'ne - med regnbuer inde i hovedet' is back to the Amon Duul II bass driven groove only with a piano and flute exiting in their own world but adhering to a common melody. Tribal percussion breaks in and all step in line. This track is highly hypnotic with a seductive violin and a swinging saxophone part that makes this feel sort of part Krautrock, part jazz but the percussion and melodic groove is sort of like a country song. It's simultaneously quite pleasant and quite weird but the true weirdness comes at the end with a bunch of silly cacophony of the instruments and nonsensical vocal utterances and oh yeah, that kazoo! Rather Samla Mammas Manna actually. Hey, this isn't Spirogyra or Comus in complexity but this album is really well done and if you can handle a very amateurish style of hippie album only done with really catchy music then this one is for you. A true surprise actually. Not the most progressive of freak folk nor the freakiest but defiantly weasels its way into your psyche rather quickly. Mange tak!

 Foreningen Til Livets Beskyttelse by FORENINGEN TIL LIVETS BESKYTTELSE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.93 | 6 ratings

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Foreningen Til Livets Beskyttelse
Foreningen Til Livets Beskyttelse Prog Folk

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars I would like to offer some attention to this charming record done by an early 1970's Danish hippie collective members. I felt their warm vibes of nave passion breathing some life-force to the dark world of business economics, and offering aural aesthetics which possibly should be enjoyed by vintage hippy music lovers. Instead of archaic stormy chaos of first Amon Dl records, this debut of Foreningen Til Livets Beskyttelse chills out on the calmness of the riverbank afternoon of the record's front cover, and in some moments rejoices like the racing horses at the pasture seen on the back side of the LP.

At the beginning of the album a descending violin reveals an anticipating sound sphere, created with piano, firm bass and the flight of a flute. Susanne begins to recite, tingling bells shimmer the elf king's magic, and slowly tablas strengthen the rhythm. The one key scale progression jam floats quite ethereal, actually growing as very quiet whispered directions, instead of blowing out to anything violent. The following "coat" tune is a quite funny acoustic farm side guitar rant. The jew harp and violin rhythms of it brought me some visions from The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers "Grass Roots" story.

Aside from joking, the song "Betjent Larsen" paints then a very sympathetic portrait of a Danish old-school hippie, throwing to the sonic canvas some powerful emotional vocal choruses, kindly rolling easy joyful melodic theme, and a Scandinavian pronunciation from a lady voice I personally really loved. After this some illusions are cast within a lullaby like tune, staying in straits of archetypical folk ballad standardized by Body Dylan and Peter, Paul & Mary. Lonely flute joins the guitar and Susanne Hamilton's tender singing, as the cigarette tips illuminate the studio barn.

A short avantgardist play-around precedes a longer song, which I believe shares with us the seagull's tales. Mystifying winds of chords conjure a persistently repeating bluesy beatnik vision, which might have be inspired by the more rootsy tracks of Jefferson Airplane, and is dominated by wild flutes and accordion explorations. Following this, some loosely waving guitar chords elevate the moods open for Rary's story, which is recited in a narrative way upon the charming pastoral sound walls. This story being told, we encounter a full moon (with a rainbow inside the head or something similar), this longer mantra reminding slightly the sounds from Third Ear Band's rustic recordings. The space for jamming is offered for solo saxophone blows, and as a whole this nocturnal rite for freedom appeared quite powerful.

The last short crazy fooling out track might have been omitted in my opinion from artistic quality perspective, but luckily the stylus can be risen on this coda if liked. I hope the idea grew from the hippies playing on the album themselves, allowing their personality to be expressed most clearly from this adorable album, and not being an suggestion from any producing party who would have aimed just to increase the weirdness of the record with it. Whatever the case really was with the ending, I would still conclude recommending this kind nugget due its sympathetic kindness and elevating rural hippie hypnotics.

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the artist addition.

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