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VON ZAMLA

RIO/Avant-Prog • Sweden


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Von Zamla biography
Founded in 1981 by keyboardist Lars Hollmer and guitarist Eino Haapala this zany band was an off-shoot of Sweden's Samlas Mammas Manna whose brand of RIO made them popular in Sweden in the 1970's but kept them relatively obscure elsewhere.
Von Zamla released two studio albums in their short career; Zamlaranama (1981) and No Make Up (1983). Brimming with Nordic Folk Melodies,thanks toHollmer's amazing accordion work the albums feature much less improvisational work than their earlier Sammlas work. One of the defining qualities of the band is their sense of theatre,comic theatre to be precise and this shines through both their albums.
This band represents a fascinating link to some of today's more creative bands such as Birdsongs of the Mesazoic and Miriodor.

See also:

- Zamla Mammaz Manna
- Samla Mammas Manna
- Ramlösa Kvällar

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Buy VON ZAMLA Music


19831983
Cuneiform 1999
Audio CD$10.05
$7.98 (used)
Von Zamla - Zamlaranamma - Urspår - URS 10Von Zamla - Zamlaranamma - Urspår - URS 10
Urspår
Vinyl$41.03 (used)
ZamlaranammaZamlaranamma
Import
Resistencia 2007
Audio CD$49.99 (used)
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VON ZAMLA discography


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

3.72 | 26 ratings
Zamlaranamma
1982
3.63 | 18 ratings
No Make Up!
1983

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

3.70 | 26 ratings
Von Zamla "1983"
1999

VON ZAMLA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

VON ZAMLA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Von Zamla Live, 1999
3.70 | 26 ratings

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Von Zamla "1983"
Von Zamla RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I guess you could say that VON ZAMLA are an offshoot of SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA and ZAMLA MAMMAZ MANNA. In fact they dedicate the bonus track to these two bands. Cool that Michel Berckmans from UNIVERS ZERO was part of this band on their tour. He plays bassoon and aboe.These tracks are taken from two concerts a couple of days apart in Germany in March of 1983.

"Ten Tango" is led by aboe then piano and other intricate sounds start to come and go as it gets fuller. Great sound here. Guitar after 3 minutes.The mood changes before 4 1/2 minutes as it turns dark with bassoon. "Forgeetyde" kicks in quickly and we get horns 1 1/2 minutes in. So much going on.This is amazing ! "Harujanta" opens with horns and an upbeat rhythm as spoken vocals join in.They will come and go. Accordion in this one too.This is just a joy to listen to. "Temporal You Are" opens with atmosphere and no melody. Love this stuff. We start to get a rhythm 3 minutes in as the atmosphere continues.Vocal melodies come in and they're melancholic. "Antsong" has a humerous ryhthm to it with the horns honking.The guitar replaces the horns before 3 minutes but they return a minute later.

"Fur Munju / Indo Jazz" is mostly accordion and aboe playing over this pulsating beat. "Glassmusic" is a short haunting piece. "Rainbox" is mainly accordion, aboe, drums and piano. "Doppler" builds slowly and it becomes quite intense after 2 minutes. Great sound ! "Akarondo" opens with vocal melodies and clapping as the music joins in after a minute then takes over. "Dancing Madras" is mostly one of the band members talking to the audience then the music kicks in and blends into "Clandestine". Bass, aboe and piano standout early and it's fairly uptempo. Organ and laughter before 2 minutes.Vocal expressions before 5 minutes.

What a great album ! A nice addition to my SAMLA and ZAMLA albums.

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 Von Zamla Live, 1999
3.70 | 26 ratings

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Von Zamla "1983"
Von Zamla RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars 1983 is an excellent collection of live tracks from the Swedish RIO unit Von Zamla, recorded in - yes - 1983 and featuring ex-members of Samla Mammas Manna and Univers Zero.

Because I'm not familiar with Samla Mammas Manna, I can only compare this album to other RIO acts such as Art Zoyd and Univers Zero. Especially the early albums of these bands come to mind, meaning lots of Stravinsky merged with rock drums and electric bass, ethnic music influences and, in case of Von Zamla, a playful touch that makes this album a more pleasant journey then Univers Zero's usual trudge through dark and scary swamps.

But it doesn't turn into a carnival neither. Von Zamla is lighter in tone but not less intense in execution, as the playing is focussed and inspired all the way through. Harujanta can serve as an excellent example of the often burlesque turn that Von Zamla's music can take, whereas Ten Tango, Temporal You Are and Doppler are decidedly more harsh and serious.

While pleasant, melodic and generally upbeat, the many dissonant harmonies and looming rhythms will cast a dark shade disturbing the calm and quite of the snug shelter that was your living room. So be warned, don't expose other family members without warning.

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 Zamlaranamma  by VON ZAMLA album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.72 | 26 ratings

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Zamlaranamma
Von Zamla RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars After the dissolution of Samla Mammas Manna (as Zamla Mammaz Manna), master musicians Haapala y Hollmer decided to renew their partnership with this project Von Zamla, together with other two musicians from Albert Marcoeur's band. The result: a musical offering whose main bet was on multicolored melodic motifs, extravagant tratments, heavily relying on dissonant chord progressions and pretty recurrently sustained on counterpoints regarding the arrangements. Zamlaranamma is the first recorded manifestation of this result. Von Zamla's music is deeply challenging while not being particularly aggressive - their compositions and style bear the heritage of ZMM but with a more light-weight attitude toward the interactions between all musicians. The absence of a drummer, or more precisely, a specialized percussive section, allows the ensamble to focus more enthusiastically on the amalgamation of keyboards, guitars and woodwinds, although the rhythmic basis still plays a solid role at ordaining the aforesaid amalgamation. The strong position of the accordion helps the band to elaborate a folk-based depth within the confines of the band's overall vision. The opener 'Harujänta', bearing a pletoric aura of celebration with various hints to Northern Europe folk, is a definite proff of the line of work I've just described. later on, 'Clandestine' and 'Original 13/11' will persevere with the special, bizarre magic that Von Zamla instill on their particular approach to RIO: the former includes an effective melodic twist that leads to a werid musical box-like final motif, and 'Original 13/11' is headlong for the delivery of overwhelming exotic ambiences. 'Rainbox' displays a more melancholic mood, sweet and suave, but not without its proper touch of mystery. 'Doppler' is one of my absolute fave tracks in the album (and I also love the extended live rentdition that appears on the 1983 album.. just amazing!!) - from the first time I listened to its sinister spirals of neurosis and spacey cadences I was hooked forever till the end of time. In many ways the somber spirit we find in this track is a remainder of the sophisticated tension so clearly illustrated on ZMM's swansong Familjiesprickor. Other tracks in which Von Zamla are the nocturnal 'Temporal You Are' and the last two numbers 'Antsong' and 'Tail of Antsong', genuine brainstorms of atonal colors. 'Ten Tango' brings back the band's softer, althoug displaying more intensity and mystery than track 2, particularly due to the hypnotic use of texturial ornaments in a weird confluence of tango-fusion, Stravinsky and gypsy folk. All in all, "Zamlaranamma" is an excellent RIO item from the 80s and a very worthy successor of the SMM/ZMM tradition: bands like Alamailman Vasarat, Hoyre Kone, 5UU's and Pochikaite Malko have evidently been influenced by the musicial ideology exposed here, so it leaves Von Zamla with the extra credit of becoming a point of reference for some of the moets bizarre prog music created in the last 20 years.

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 Von Zamla Live, 1999
3.70 | 26 ratings

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Von Zamla "1983"
Von Zamla RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars It is fortunate that Cuneiform Records, that bastion of progressive rock, released these excellent tracks from live shows in Germany, March 1983. It allows all Prog listeners the chance to own something by the legendary Swedish ensemble without having to track down their other hard to find albums, and '1983' provides a comprehensive look into the extraordinary imagination of Michel Berckmans (bassoon, oboe), Eino Haapala (guitar), Lars Hollmer (piano, organ, Korg, accordion), Hans Loelv (keys, melodica), Wolfgang Salomon (bass) and Marten Tiselius (drums).

A bit like Univers Zero in sound but more rock-oriented and less dark (but no less intriguing), the Zamlas were truly breaking new ground in their time with avant-chamber mayhem and driving dissonance. The music pumps with a creepy, Monster Mash hipness and astounding changes in mode and tempo, filled with delicate lines, little details, and bizarre humor. The group draws influence from seemingly all music at once and spits it back out with flair and bold disregard for convention or popular ideals. The thirteen cuts brim with this energy and it is hard to find a weak moment in it, though perhaps the silly vocalizations will sour some to the experience. But the vast majority of tunes here are instrumental and offer much with a truly progressive form of rock music. It may take many listens to fully appreciate but VZ is an act that every proghead should own at least a small amount of.

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 No Make Up!  by VON ZAMLA album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.63 | 18 ratings

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No Make Up!
Von Zamla RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Rainer Rein

3 stars Never released on CD this one is a bit different from predecessor. The band's line-up includes six musicians instead of four and the music is not so chamber- sounding than Zamlaranamma. In addition - the good ol' Univers-Zero-man Michael Berckmans has taken part of recording! Musically in my addition the 1st side of LP was more living and the 2nd side more usual. Michael Berckmans' composer talent was quite admirable. But anyway - the live recording 1983 released in 1999 by Cuneiform is their absolutely finest!

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 Zamlaranamma  by VON ZAMLA album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.72 | 26 ratings

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Zamlaranamma
Von Zamla RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Rainer Rein

3 stars This record is maybe more chamber-sounding than Samla Mammas Manna's older recordings. But - unfortunately a bit more sterile-sounding. Anyway - Lars Hollmer is very important lighthouse (close to Astrid Lindgren) contra "swedish dullness". The most of these compositions have really juicy live versions on 1983 released in 1999 by Cuneiform. But very kind first-listening-experience of Original 13 II and Tail Of Antsong. Humorous music, glockenspiel and other percussions are great!

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 Zamlaranamma  by VON ZAMLA album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.72 | 26 ratings

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Zamlaranamma
Von Zamla RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars Von Zamla is an evolution of Samla and then Zamla Mamma Manna but is also in the musical continuity of its pedecessors . This first album is relatively hard to describe because it has a wide musical spectrum . But it should be considered RIO. Sometimes doing acoustical chamber rock , sometimes very electronic layers that even Tangerine Dream would approve and sometimes downright difficult disonnance. My fave numbers are Doppler and Temporal , both will be re-worked deeply on their 1983 album.

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 Von Zamla Live, 1999
3.70 | 26 ratings

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Von Zamla "1983"
Von Zamla RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars As Greger tells you above this is very much in terms of RIO (which they help form with Univers Zero , Henry Cow etc..) but also laced with Gypsy Jazz (circus-like music) For this one, Belgium's Michel Berckmans (of Univers Zero fame) joined the band and he gives a typical Berckmans input with his bassoon.

Among the highlights in this album would be the impressive Temporal You Are with KB layers reminding of Floyd's Shine On You Crazy Diamonds and the GonG-like Doppler.

Please note the two keyboardists reverse initial which makes difficult to know who plays/writes what lines even though they booklet tells you so but by the initials. Give this album another halfstar.

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 Zamlaranamma  by VON ZAMLA album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.72 | 26 ratings

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Zamlaranamma
Von Zamla RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by daniel.reichberg

5 stars This is not a progressive rock record. In fact, this is not a rock record at all! It's rather a wonderful mix of world, jazz, classical, but first and foremost the fantastic ideas turning up in the heads of Hollmer and Haapala. Actually, among all Samla/related records, I find this the most rewarding.

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 Von Zamla Live, 1999
3.70 | 26 ratings

BUY
Von Zamla "1983"
Von Zamla RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Greger
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Lars Hollmer and Eino Haapala formed VON ZAMLA in 1981 as an offspring from the legendary 70's Swedish progressive band SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA. VON ZAMLA took part in the R.I.O. (Rock in opposition) movement and released two albums: "Zamlaranamma" (1981) and "No Make Up!" (1983). Other band who also were in the R.I.O. movement were ART BEARS, ETRON LE FOU, UNIVERS ZERO and STORMY SIX etc. - This CD contains recordings from two live concerts in Germany during VON ZAMLA's Spring 1983 European tour. As I knew about VON ZAMLA before my expectations were very high when I pressed play on my CD player. I wasn't disappointed when VON ZAMLA's well-recognised music came out of the speakers. The production is very good especially for being live recordings. "1983" features songs from both "Zamlaranamma" (1981) and "No Make Up!" (1983) together with some songs that has never been released on any album before. The cover artwork "Halvtid" is made by Tage Åsén who also did the art work for SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA's albums "Måltid" (1973), "Klossa Knapitatet" (1974), "Schlagerns mystik" (1978) and "Kaka" (1999). - Fans of SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA / VON ZAMLA have had very much to enjoy this year, as SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA has released a new album this year called "Kaka" on the Swedish label Amigo. Both these releases are indispensable stuff. Highly recommended!

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