Friday, March 27, 2015

Von Zamla - 1999 - 1983

Von Zamla

01. Ten Tango (7:23)
02. Forge Etyde (4:23)
03. Harujänta (7:56)
04. Temporal you are (5:59)
05. Antsong (5:34)
06. Für Munju / Indojazz (4:46)
07. Glassmusic (1:00)
08. Rainbox (3:11)
09. Doppler (7:57)
10. Akarondo (2:48)
11. Dancing Madras (0:30)
12. Clandestine (6:59)
13. Ödet (Bonus track) (5:42)

- Michel Berckmans / bassoon, oboe
- Eino Haapala / guitar
- Lars Hollmer / piano, organ, korg, accordion
- Hans Loelv / piano, organ, korg, melodica
- Wolfgang Salomon / bass
- Mårten Tiselius / drums

 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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