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Samla Mammas Manna - Samla Mammas Manna CD (album) cover


Samla Mammas Manna



4.06 | 117 ratings

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5 stars The first time I listened to SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA I asked myself What in God's name is this? Because this guys are weird to an extreme, for many it could be just a funny band making some sort of Vaudevillian act, but if you listen the music that surrounds all the sounds and weird vocals, you notice immediately that this guys are really skilled and the music is first class Prog.

But lets go immediately with the self titled debut of this excellent Swedish band.

The album starts with "Circus Apparatha" a strange track that creates a circus paraphernalia, it's amazing how they can blend all the comic sounds and vocals (which I can't understand) with excellent Psyche and Prog music, the radical chhanges keep the listener clueless about what's coming next, and they even add some dramatic organ sections by the surprising Lasse Hollmer, who does an outstanding work.

"Pausus" is a short 20 seconds interlude that works as an into for "Vidgat Läge", a radically different song top the opener, the intro reminds me a bit of Santana with the Hammond recreating the spirit of the late 70's and the percussion by Bebben Öberg who adds congas with a Latin edge. Then the song turns absolutely dramatic with contradictory sections linked all together with great skills. Again the keyboards are delightful.

"Släde Till Satori" is another strange song that blends perfectly a theatrical atmosphere with a Classical sound and a Jazzy edge, the piano is played with unusual fury and the drumming is outstanding. May seem a repetitive song but every round is different to the other, some strange and new element is added, like the extra 52 seconds which are very spacey.

"Schekina" starts with a barely audible piano and drums section that goes "in crescendo" like announcing a climax that reaches after a minute with the organ, guitar drums and bass hitting the listener with a sonic wall, again outstanding.

"Uvertyr Till Häst" keeps the atmosphere of the first track but the sound has evolved becoming more complex and elaborate, the detail of the hand clapping is perfect, the melody is simply beautiful, I always wonder how this guys can make something sop elaborate and complex sound so simple?

"Flickan I Skogen" is an excellent track where the unusual guitar style is absolutely unique, like hitting the instrument with hate, while the organ keeps a soft Psyche melody in the background almost as if they were jamming, also solid work by Lasse Krantz in the bass, as the support of all the music.

"Manna Jamma" begins with the strangest "a capella" section I ever heard, like a comedy dialogue that ends in donkey sounds and immediately leads to a jazzy passage where the keyboards and drums take the lead and then the complete band enters with all the have making us take a trip back to the late 60's, pure Psyche.

"At-One-Ment" is another song that takes us back to the 60's, reminds me of "Meshkalina" by TRAFFIC SOUND but with congas and fully instrumental, turms softer in the middle just to end completely weird.

"Skrik Från Embassy-Live" is a song that seems a complete jamming session, with strong and unusual sounds, full of interesting cacophonies, the star here is Bebben Öberg with his complex and elaborate percussion. Normally jamming bores me, but this song is fantastic.

Now its' time to get really crazy with "Fittravisan", a complete cacophony where percussion, piano and guitar blend in some sort of sonic wall, they made it short enough not to bore anybody.

"E'Pop Tai" is completely different to any previous song, an extremely beautiful Synth melody with a backing sound that seems made with maracas. Strangely flows gently from start to end without surprises.

The edition I got has two extra tracks, the frantic, cacophonic and Jazzy "Circus Impala" and "Lawrence in Sahara" which sounds like a Latin version of "Piper at the Gates of Dawn", but as always, I only focus in the tracks that were released with the original release, because that's the way the band believed the album should be listened (Well also due to time limitations of the Vinyl records).

There's no other possible rating than 5 stars because "Samla Mammas Manna" fulfills all the requirements of the guidelines, it's essential for any Prog Collection, being this is the pioneer album of the influential Scandinavian Prog and it's a masterpiece (At least in my opinion).

I believe that despite it's weirdness, this album is for any fan of real Prog with strong Psyche elements, so get it with confidence, you won't regret.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 5/5 |


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