Lars Hollmer

Från Natt Idag

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During the '80s, Swedish keyboardist/accordionist Lars Hollmer set off on his own path separate from Samla Mammas Manna and their offshoots, and fully hit his stride with the release of 1983's Från Natt Idag, a sometimes quirky slice of Scandinavian folk-flavored avant-prog rock on which Hollmer sang and played all the instruments, recording alone at night in his Chickenhouse studio. The accordion and Hollmer's occasional vocals impart warmth to the music, which is sometimes dominated by the type of electronic drum rhythms and synth tones that characterized the '70s-'80s prog era. Yet during this period Hollmer also used his personal studio to sculpt sound and atmosphere in a manner similar to Brian Eno -- "Skar" slots into Från Natt Idag in a way not too dissimilar from the way a track like "Zawinul/Lava" fit into Another Green World. And Hollmer followed up "Skar" with "Optimistbeat," a multi-tracked dose of spirited prog-folk with prominent accordion melody and a bridge of 100 percent pure rock & roll. "Nationsjazz," with its driving meter alternating between 6/8 and 5/8, would prove a killer tune for Hollmer's SOLA band to cover in a Tokyo studio nearly two decades later; the quintessentially uncategorizable "Fur Munju" (neo-classical ska fusion?) would get the multi-tracked Hollmer treatment here while also showing up in a full-band sextet arrangement on Von Zamla's No Make Up!, also recorded at the Chickenhouse in 1983 and released the following year. [Several selections from Från Natt Idag were later included in the 1993 single-CD comp entitled Lars Hollmer 80-88 (later re-released as The Siberian Circus), and in 1998 Resource Records included the entire album in the very worthwhile two-CD set Tonöga/Från Natt Idag/Vendeltid, which included bonus tracks.]

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