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AKASHA

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Norway


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Akasha biography
AKASHA is a Norwegian quintet who recorded one strange and fascinating album back in 1977. They are: Kjell Evensen on drums; Arild Andreasson on bass; Jens-Ivar Andreassen on guitar, mellotron, synths, piano and organ; Tor Johnny Hansen is credited for lyrics on one particular track; and Sverre Svendsen handles the mellotron as well as the English vocals - highly reminiscent of Greg LAKE, by the way. Musically speaking, comparisons aren't easy: try to imagine a blend of early GENESIS and the MOODY BLUES, albeit a much harsher, stranger version of the latter. AKASHA write dark and foreboding prog and lyrics with a strong sci-fi bent. The LP version of their album is now a collectors' item, commanding 3-digit prices on the underground market; even the small Swedish label (APM) that issued its cd version in 1995 has now ceased to be.

The music on their self-titled album (which dons an epic 11-minute opener) is loaded with synths, mellotron and spacey effects that will no doubt send fans straight to 'tron heaven (the mellotron features prominently throughout the album, relegating the guitars to a secondary role). Jens Andreassen exploits his synths to the fullest, wrenching out a variety of experimental analog sounds and noises (what he does with filters and oscillators is simply amazing). The only problem with the album is its poor sound - it was recorded in a bomb cellar of a hotel, in the town of Finnsnes. Except for this flaw, "Akasha" is brilliant and a true gem of underground Scandinavian prog.

If you fancy plenty of mellotron and spacey experimental sounds (and don't mind a 'so-so' production), no doubt you'll have your hands - and ears! - full with AKASHA.

: : : Lise (Hibou), CANADA : : :

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Journey Into Ambient Groove 4Journey Into Ambient Groove 4
Island 1997
Audio CD$39.80
$4.29 (used)
Yoga SpiritYoga Spirit
Original recording
Malimba Records 2005
Audio CD$10.34
$3.92 (used)
Om ShantiOm Shanti
Malimba Records 2007
Audio CD$10.45
$5.54 (used)
Love Philtre MagickLove Philtre Magick
Import
Ra Records 2003
Audio CD$10.82
$1.66 (used)
CinematiqueCinematique
Wall Of Sound
Audio CD$15.99
$1.56 (used)
Brown SugarBrown Sugar
Single · Import
Wall of Sound 1997
Audio CD$19.19
$6.41 (used)
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AKASHA shows & tickets


  • Sonic Bloom: The Unified Field on 19 Jun 2014

AKASHA discography


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3.42 | 29 ratings
Akasha
1977

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AKASHA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Akasha by AKASHA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.42 | 29 ratings

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Akasha
Akasha Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Extremely obscure Norwegian band with just one known album.Akasha came from the city of Kjollefjord and consisted of Sverre Svendsen on voices and Mellotron, Kjell Evensen on drums, Arild Andreassen on bass and Jens Ivar Andreassen on guitars and various keyboards, while Tor-Jonny Hansen appears to be as writer of some of the band's lyrics.They released their sole LP on Bat Records in 1977, while the album was recorded at a cellar of a local hotel according to the album's notes.

Akasha were not only historically obscure, but their sound was also quite extraordinary, full of experimental injections and psychedelic overtones, although not always convincing.They played a sophisticated and intricate Progressive Rock with angular, synth-based spacey vibes, orchestral overtones and bizzare psychedelic textures with atonal parts.They appear to have built their ideas heavily on keyboards with the mightly Mellotron being a first priority for the band, while there are also heavy doses of synthesizers with lighter organ and piano lines around.Soundwise they come as a cross between ELOY's spaciness, KING CRIMSON's early Mellotron-based days, GONG's enigmatic stylings and FANTASY's smooth, vocal-led passages.The variety of styles presented makes the album a bit incohesive, but on the other hand there is a charming, dramatic yet melancholic mood in the background of the whole effort.Long instrumental themes with both loose and tight deliveries are among the album's highlights, based on a solid rhythm section and the diverse keyboard exercises, while the vocals are also quite nice in terms of expression, although they lack a certain range or unique color.

Even more weird is the fact that all of Akasha members dissapeared from the music scene with a sole appearance of Jens Ivar Andreassen on the 82' single ''Sov sov sov'' of the New Wave group Adams Fall.

This is one of the cases, when an highly obscure album bocemes better known through its various reissues over time.So fans of spacey, Mellotron-drenched Progressive Rock should be the first to acquire this work.Partly genuine and warmly recommended.

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 Akasha by AKASHA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.42 | 29 ratings

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Akasha
Akasha Psychedelic/Space Rock

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

3 stars Buttered up Butterflies

Groovy man!! This is some of that sticky icky stuff, although handed over in a quite recognisable setting. No mirages here people! Most times, when I recommend albums that are groovy and psychedelic, they tend to be roaring wild and completely gone fishing, - yet with this Norwegian outing, you get something that relies just as much on symphonic sweeps of breezy music - to the simmering Germanic electronics that infested most of the Krautrock scene all through the 70s.

Released in 1977, this album sure sounds out of touch with the surrounding music scene. As John points out in his review, you really get the feel of a late sixties album here. Ok, there's far more happening on the progressive front - meaning that you get your fair share of turnovers and quirky meddlesome pieces slicing their way into the midst of things. Every track here hides something ethereal, hard rocking or even b-b-b-bibbedi-bubbly with sneaky old school almost Berliner school electronics dating back to a time of sabre-toothed tigers and early synthesizers running on coal and small children.

I keep thinking King Crimson for some reason, and perhaps that is not such a bad reference after all. In fact, if you can imagine the legendary In the Court of the Crimson King handed over in a looser and slightly more esoteric dressing, then you're just about halfway there. The innovative usage of mellotron that Fripp conjured up roams freely on this release - it's icy, lofty and damn near omnipresent throughout. Working like a constant flow of autumnal power - a way of supporting what all the other instruments are doing in a delicate and airy manner. Add to that, those drums remind me of Michael Giles - you know that jazzy wooden feel that counters everything around it, while at the same time relegating a natural rhythm train, which is tight as hell.

This is indeed an album worthy of all the symphonic fans' attention. The textures are huge like mighty ghost-like statures towering high above the other side of the coin here, which flutters around on the ground like a swarm of bewildered bees. Yes, I'm referring to the synths here, although they aren't as in your face as you'd imagine from my opening statement. They dwell at the bottom end of the sea, albeit for the soloing moog that gets carte blanche whenever the music calls for a secondary sweet spot other than the be-winged guitars. -Either rocking the house with fat hard riffage or bursting out in cathartic solos, they do match the music perfectly.

Reading this review back, one could quickly come to a 4 star conclusion, yet there's one thing holding me back - keeping me from an adoration big as the African continent. Vocals. Rightly described as a Scandinavian mirroring of Greg Lake - they circle around the passionate immersion. A way of launching oneself into the lyrical segments like a flaming arrow. Though much to my disappointment, they reek of Scandinavian accent, and that's just about the most awful coating you could ever wish to present the English language in. Big mistake - and sadly the sole reason for the 3.5 stars.

Even so, I strongly recommend this album to fans of early King Crimson, Procol Harum, Moody Blues, Spring, Cressida and Eloy. The music here is nothing short of stunningly beautiful. Buttered up butterflies.

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 Akasha by AKASHA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.42 | 29 ratings

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Akasha
Akasha Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This one took a while to really get a handle on and absorb. It's hard to believe this was released in 1977 because it sounds more like something from the late sixties. I think that's half it's charm while the other half is the mellotron. Haha.Yes mellotron is all over this one,along with plenty of synths and spacey sounds. Vocals are in English and suit this psychedelic music just fine.

"Isle Of Kawi" is the longest track at 11 minutes. It opens with spacey sounds that are joined by a quickly strummed guitar. The guitar stops a minute in as spacey sounds dominate. Mellotron floods the soundscape 2 minutes in with more spaciness to follow. Themes are repeated. Vocals after 4 1/2 minutes remind me of FLOYD as mellotron flows. A keyboard melody follows 5 minutes in reminding me of FRUITCAKE. It sounds like the same keyboard ! More mellotron 9 minutes in with keys to end it. "Bondage" opens with strummed guitar, vocals and spacey sounds. The tempo picks up with melotron a minute in as well as guitar, drums and lots of spacey synths. Slow paced vocals come in until the uptempo melody returns 4 minutes in. The song changes to a brighter sound 5 1/2 minutes in with vocals, keys and mellotron. Nice. "Regitativ" features some gentle guitar with background sounds. Vocals followed by an uptempo melody follows. The drumming is prominant. Nice guitar solo with mellotron to end it.

"Electronic Nightmare" is pretty much 2 minutes of electronic sounds. "Death Hymn" opens with drums as synths swirl about. A change 2 minutes in as spoken words come in reminding me of ELOY. The instrumental work here is tasteful with mellotron waves. Some singing before 4 minutes is brief before the spoken words come back. "Light And Darkness" is a cool song that opens quietly with cymbal sounds then reserved vocals. A minute in the vocals are passionate as is the raw guitar. It becomes 60's sounding 2 1/2 minutes in but also reminding me of some of the nineties alternative bands i've listened to. I like it. It's like he shouts out the lyrics. It ends with laughing. "The Trip" features vocals, FRUITCAKE-keys, drums and a storm of mellotron. Great tune. Some outstanding drumming. "Man Of The Void" is pastoral with vocals and mellotron. The tempo changes quickly a few times. The best part of the song is 2 minutes in when he sings slowly with spacey sounds, gentle guitar and light drums. A 60's flavour follows with mellotron. It ends with waves of sound coming and going.

Barely 4 stars. A must for fans of both psychedelic music and mellotron.

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 Akasha by AKASHA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.42 | 29 ratings

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Akasha
Akasha Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Proghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Talk about a totally obscure, underground gem of prog rock, this Norwegian band released this one and only album, then disappeared. They resided in a town called Finnsnes, which is way up north of the Arctic Circle, on the coast. And despite what has to be a very remote and desolate area of the country, it's a miracle a prog rock band existed there, and there was even a local label called BAT Records, willing to release this album.

As you might guess, the original LP received only local distribution, and commands three digit prices in the collector's market. Anyway, the production isn't that great, it has that homemade feel, and was recorded in bomb cellar at hotel in the band's home town. Despite that, it's an excellent example of spacy prog, loaded with tons of spacy electronic effects off synthesizers, and tons of Mellotron that's ever present! You can't go wrong with that if you're a Mellotron fan! The singing is in English, with a strong sci-fi bent to them.

The band consisted of vocalist Sverre Svendsen (who also handles Mellotron), Kjeil Evensen on drums, Arild Andreassen on bass, Jens Ivar Andreassen on guitar, Mellotron, and synthesizers, and Tor-Jonny Hansen supplying the words (as well as hymn on "Death Hymn"). They even credit Bjørn Hugo Gjøen for the psychedelic light show. The album consists of eight cuts, such as "The Isle of Kawai", "Bondage", the emotionless "Death Hymn", the electronic "Electronic Nightmare", and "The Trip". These are all excellent songs, despite the sloppy production.

And while the LP is difficult to find, it was made available on CD on the sadly now-defunct Ad Perpetuam Memoriam (APM) label out of Sweden, giving this album the attention in the prog community it never received before. Anyway, this is an excellent album to have in your collection.

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 Akasha by AKASHA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.42 | 29 ratings

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Akasha
Akasha Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by loserboy
Prog Reviewer Honorary Reviewer

3 stars Sometimes you run into an album and you only wish it had been recorded with more tender loving care than it had been. This is most certainly the case with AKASHA so be warned that this recording will not fill every ounce of your speaker's "Mise - En- Scene". However what is lacks on the dynamic recording front, it makes up on the creativity and musical front. AKASHA's 1st and only album is full of heavy mellotron and dark foreboding progressive rock. Lyrics are sung in English but they are not central to this album and actually get a bit in the way of the most luscious instrumentation you will ever hear. Basically AKASHA blend guitar, bass , drum and dramatic keyboards with symphonic theatrics and rich mellotron dripping melodies. An great little album...!

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