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Krokofant w/Storløkken & Håker Flaten: Q

I'm pretty new to the Rune Grammofon roster of artists, so Krokofant was an unknown name for me, but this latest release Q, sees the group expanded from the original trio of guitarist Tom Hasslan, drummer Axel Skalstad, and saxophonist Jorgen Mathisen, to now include keyboard player Stake Storlokken and bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten. This is raw, energetic jazz-fusion, free-jazz, and a touch of prog, the quintet rampaging through five lengthy tracks of savage beauty featuring plenty of fiery solos. The first part, which is nearly 14-minutes long, opens with a brutal guitar jaunt from Hasslan (think McLaughlin-meets-Rypdal) and then a squonking sax solo from Mathisen, which gives way to Storlokken's noisy, proggy organ exploration, all the while Skalstad's drums frantically rumble underneath it all. The climax is simply mind-melting. What a way to kick off an album! Part 3 has a spacier vibe, filled with plenty of organ & keyboards as Skalstad continues to amaze with his busy drum work, easily the most prog-rock/space rock styled piece here. The third track contains some fiery yet melodic sax lines, thick Hammond organ, and blistering rock guitar, the vibe rotating between '70s styled jazz, atmospheric progressive rock, and crunchy heavy rock, almost reminding of Van Der Graaf Generator at times. For the final part of the album, heavy guitar riffs, intricate drum fills, and bubbling synths support some quirky, almost Canterbury styled sax before some tasty Hammond organ explorations begin. The ebb and flow continues for the near 12-minute length, fast & furious passages give way to mournful jazz (Mathisen is great here) before the bombast kicks back in. Tremendous stuff.

Honestly, Q is an album that will leave you breathless, the perfect meshing of various jazz styles with progressive rock and the occasional metallic burst is expertly done. If you love daring, complex, noisy instrumental music, this is one to seek out immediately.

Track Listing
1) Q- part 1 (13:31)
2) Q- part 2 (6:34)
3) Q- part 3 (12:09)
4) Q- part 4 (11:32)

Added: November 25th 2019
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Rune Grammofon
Hits: 1050
Language: english

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