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KROKOFANT

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Norway


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Krokofant biography
KROKOFANT is a Norwegian jazz-rock trio, consisting of Tom HASSLAN (guitars), Axel SKALSTAD (drums) and Jørgen MATHISEN (saxophone). Their name is taken from a mythical creature out of a popular Norwegian children's song, a cross between an elephant and a crocodile, "a lumbering trumpeting beast with a fearsome array of teeth in its snapping jaws...", a very good description of their sound. The band began as a duo, after HASSLAN and SKALSTAD, both former winners of Kongsberg Jazzfestival recruitment scholarship, met in a record shop in their hometown of Kongsberg, and started playing free music toghether. In 2012 they hooked up with reputed saxophonist Jørgen MATHISEN (SHAGMA, THE CORE, ZANUSSI FIVE and HUMVEE, amongst others), and they played an impressive debut performance at the Kongsberg Jazzfestival of that year. In 2014 they released their eponymous debut album on the Norwegian jazz-rock label Rune Grammofon, to rave reviews. KROKOFANT plays an energetic and explosive kind of improvisational fusion of jazz and rock, that is both free and structured, and also heavy, sounding almost as mathy metal at times. Recommended to fans of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, Terje RYPDAL, KING CRIMSON, HENRY COW, SHINING and MESHUGGAH.

Bio by The Bearded Bard

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4.00 | 1 ratings
Krokofant
2014

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KROKOFANT Reviews


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 Krokofant by KROKOFANT album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Krokofant
Krokofant Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars KROKOFANT are a young power trio out of Norway and they signed to the Rune Grammofon label. Certainly the album cover should remind people of other bands on that label like ELEPHANT9 and GRAND GENERAL. We get drums, guitar and sax and the music is mostly in the Free Jazz style although these guys are fans of Prog-Metal so it can be quite heavy. The sax reminded me of the late Elton Dean, at least when he's wailing away in a dissonant manner while the more regular sounding sax excursions remind me of KING CRIMSON's "Islands" period. Yes this can be difficult at times and truth of that is going to the RYM site and seeing how dreadfully low this album is rated. Man I dig this stuff though it can be over the top at times. It's not for the faint of heart, that's for sure. Oh, the name comes from cross breeding of the elephant and crocodile which apparently hasn't been perfected just yet.

"Polyfant" opens with these strange and unsettling guitar sounds( I believe) then the drums, guitar and sax kick in. Check out the insane sax after 3 1/2 minutes. Not worthy! "Supermann" has this precise and intricate interplay that is relentless until it all settles back before 2 1/2 minutes as we get random drum patterns along with the sax soloing over top in a dissonant way. "Bodega" impresses me with the low end sounding guitar as the drums rumble and the sax rips it up over top. A calm after 3 1/2 minutes which is welcomed at this point(haha) then the guitar and drums seem to feed off one another, so good! The guitar is lighting it up before 6 1/2 minutes then the sax returns just before 7 minutes and a minute later he's killing it.

The sax at the start of "Thispair" reminds me of "Islands" by KING CRIMSON. The guitar is digging deep and the drums seem to follow his lead. The sax gives way to the guitar briefly and when the sax returns it reminds me of KRAAN. "Ejs" is a short uptempo track where the guitar raises hell throughout. "Castaway" is the most laid back piece and the longest at over 12 1/2 minutes. Shades of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA can be heard here as the tension is never released. A calm 3 minutes in as we get some atmosphere as sounds come and go. This is a beautiful section. It's building and the sax turns dissonant 9 1/2 minutes in. Incredible! Love the drumming over the final minute.

There should be some sort of a warning sticker on this album but once again the nation of Norway has blessed us with some very talented musicians who have come up with a recording that is both powerful and innovative. A solid 4 stars.

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