Von Zamla


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After the initial breakup of Samla Mammas Manna in 1980, keyboardist Lars Hollmer and guitarist Eino Haapala made a few recordings for a projected album. They delayed the release to join quirky French musician Albert Marcoeur for a tour in 1981, and performed some of their new material along with Marcoeur's songs and the Zamla repertoire. The tour was so successful that Hollmer and Haapala enlisted Marcoeur's wind player Denis Brély and bass player Jan Garret to complete the recordings for this album. The deliberate omission of a drummer (although Zamla drummer Hans Bruniusson lent them a snare drum) gives the album a very different sound than any of their other releases. They still work with odd time signatures and melodies based on Swedish folk music, but the counterpoint that is such an important part of their other album No Make Up! is very much in evidence here. The opening track, "Harujänta," is one of the most compelling pieces the group ever performed, a combination of folk melodies and rock rhythms that builds to a superb driving climax. "Rainbox" is also one of the best melodies the group composed, and without the rock drums, it has a delicacy completely absent from other Zamla work. Although there is some indulgence to the Python-esque vocals of the other Zamla albums, as well as some intense rock as on the previous release Familjesprickor (Family Cracks), this is a superb combination of studio work and musicianship, one of the best products of the progressive rock and RIO movements.

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