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Grovjobb - Vättarnas Fest CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.34 | 27 ratings

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4 stars Swedish fondue nr. 4

I remember buying this one back during the start of the new millennium - getting back to my stereo rack, looking at the speakers with a somewhat stupid and unintelligent expression on my face. Didn't I just buy an album from 1999? Well maybe the long-haired guy at the store gave me the wrong cd, he certainly looked kind of hazy and absent minded. But no, upon opening the booklet and reading about the music, it all became clear to me, that the kind of music I had been head over heels in love with - that old vintage psychedelic music from the good old days, that I actually thought was a thing of the past, - was indeed oozing out of my speakers like thick gooey marmalade.

We've been over this a million times. Retro prog. Retro music. Retro this and that, and all that really means to me personally is, that we're facing music that sports instruments and studio recordings such as you'd hear on a 1973 release. Well just because Miles Davis once utilized wind instruments within a rock mould, doesn't necessarily mean that a band like Mirthkon is ripping him off. Hell Eddie Jobson is such a fraud, I mean Mozart was using violins centuries before him! I know I'm exaggerating slightly here, but we owe it to ourselves to give the musicians a break sometimes. I've seen a lot of reviews calling acts Genesis clones because of a simple mix of mellotron and 12 string guitars, and that is just bs in my humble opinion. The reason why I'm mentioning this is because Grovjobb is one of those bands, that very easily could be tagged as Jethro Tull rip offs - all on account of the heavy flute work in their music. Yes it occasionally sounds like Ian Anderson, but that's only because Simon Krarup Jensen here also spits in his flute. The feel of this technique opens up to many associations, but I've always had this image of a fairly aggressive llama imitating the chew chews of a chew chew train, but hey that's just me. I love when the flute is played like this. It adds a certain edge to an otherwise ethereal and clean instrument. It's like painting a swan black, or like French kissing the queen's nose. Rrrrauuw!

On most of the tracks you could describe the flute as the lead instrument, because apart from the last marathon track on Vättarnas Fest, it is truly that, only swapping places with the reverberating waves of the guitar that at times decides to lead the parade if only for a short but memorable dance. But around all of this, we have something quite special, and furthermore something that sounds pretty original. Jethro Tull were never this psychedelic. They never jammed this much in their music. They never sounded this Krautrocking. Had this album been released in Germany back in 72, we would almost certainly be calling it a Krautrock classic today. I'm sure of that - believe you me.

It's a very persuasive kind of approach we get from these Swedes. You've got these rolling guitar infected grooves, that never really tries to do anything else than feed the atmosphere with long drawn out jams. Writhing and swaying blowing all over the spectrum - sounding like a psychedelic sonic string bending cheerleader in slow motion. Accompanying this lazy bugger, you have a brilliant bass acting like a true gopher - burrowing deep beneath the music, yet still soiling everything around it in earth and dirt. I simply love that little creature! Funky and meaty - just like I want it. And that's about it - as mad as that sounds! Though on the other hand, what really counterpoints this rather frugal musical excursion - is the amount of alternating, blooming, zooming, fast pacing, blossoming and fire breathing tempers of this band. They feel just as much at home doing sensuous deep-felt sections of chit chatting echoing wah wah guitars and jazzy rhythm mumblings to rock jam city with all out - full frontal bird attack flute travels with everything around resembling melting earwax - y'know those guitar textures that seem to dissolve in a sea of fuzz. It's all good.

Pretty much every track here is what I'd call a jam. Maybe these tracks have talked beforehand - laying down the principle rules of the game - deciding what to do and whatnot, but to me it all sounds like a perfect jam on one of those Friday nights, where everyone involved seem to have a secret hard line interconnecting each and everybody to the great big wide interweb of 4 completely different people. It's the music you don't need to discuss - you just know it instinctively. The memo was send in due time.

The final track here is the only one jumping out of the norm. It starts out like a beautiful sleepwalker - trudging slowly and steadily like an Indian hunter on the prowl. Tablas, crooked acoustic sitar, Eastern musical wanderings ebbing out into the musicians - creating an amazing intro to the last of these psychedelic mantras. It happens smoothly and gliding, but when the Indian spices have run out of steam - all of a sudden the wah wahing guitars step back in your life, and everything is right as rain. Starting like a raga and ending like a proper rock adventure in hi fi. Right on!

This album is anything but your average old school memorabilia get together - it's far more than that. It's an honest and warm blooded affair with just the right amount of analogue recording technique involved to let you be transported back in time - but first and foremost, it is music created on the spot by individuals that clearly were inspired by those good old days, but more importantly understood what all the fuzz was about: It was about creating grooves between the musicians - getting into it with heart and soul - tearing up the empty spaces and substituting them with saucy, sweating, authentic and free flowing sonic juice, that never gets old or outdated. Why? Because music is about feel - not the guy behind the table with the suitcase and ties. 4.5 stars.

Guldbamsen | 4/5 |


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