Friday, March 27, 2015

Samla Mammas Manna - 1971 - Samla Mammas Manna

Samla Mammas Manna
Samla Mammas Manna

01. Circus apparatha (6:02)
02. Pausus (0:18)
03. Vidgat läge (3:15)
04. Släde till satori (3:24 + 0:52)
05. Schekina (2:51)
06. Uvertyr till häst (2:00 + 0:49)
07. Flickan i skogen (2:20)
08. Manna jamma (5:53)
09. At-one-ment (4:20)
10. Skrik från Embassy-live (2:29)
11. Fittravisan (0:59)
12. E`pop tai (4:09)

- Hasse Bruniusson / drums, vocals
- Lasse Hollmer / organ, piano, vocals
- Lasse Krantz / bass
- Bebben Öberg / congas, percussion

"Instrumental music with vocal addition at its best! A bastard meeting between some musical individualists resulted in a series of records that stunned the world. High quality performance combined with musical integrity gives you a unique amount of satisfaction."

They were, at the end of the Seventies and in the Eighties, the Swedish representative of the collective Rock In Opposition founded by Chris CUTLER. I can tell you that their music is a blend of mostly instrumental 70's progressive rock, Scandinavian folk, jazz-fusion, avant-garde, RIO (Rock In Opposition) and World Music. The vocals in Swedish, the use of accordion, handbells, marimbas and percussions of all kinds gives a very personal touch to this music.

As was popular at the time, the germ of the SMM sound came from adapting traditional Scandinavian folk themes into modern music. After, there followed an intensive period of jam sessions, trying out all sorts of ideas, with unlikely combinations of folk, rock and jazz structures. "Klossa Knapitatet" (1974) expanded on their improvisational side, and maybe their best. It's a FUN album! The legacy of "Snorungarnas Symfoni" was the end of a phase, and was also where SMM history became complicated. Now the long awaited reunion on album for SMM is finally here. "Kaka" marks the return of the original line-up in 1999. While very good, the band's early energy and creativeness is hard to recreate some 23 years later. If you haven't heard them before, this album is a perfect starter. Highly recommended!

SMM's debut release is a charming, whimsical album. The production values leave a bit to be desired, but it kinda adds to the naivety and innocence of this wonderful bit of creativity. Opening with a quirky electric-piano riff, 'Circus Apparatha' indeed sounds like a carnival - humourous riffs, vocals and silly voices, care-free organ and e-piano playing, with a competent rhythm section - it really gets this album off to a great, unique start. Very hard to actually describe this music, perhaps some of the more jazzy e-piano dominated material by The Doors, with a hint of R.I.O. but still quite different. Their focus on truly challenging R.I.O. will eventually become more apparent over the course of the next few releases. The bulk of the album is instrumental, and the sound and instrumentation consistent throughout. There are some brief, but beautiful e-piano interludes at certain points, and there is a loose, jammy vibe to be heard on most tracks. Sometimes slow, sometimes fast, many tempo changes and tasteful progressions abound, always keeping things interesting. I've listened to this lots of times since I got the LP and I still discover something new each time.



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