Kasvot Växt

Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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Obscure even within the obscure realms of Scandinavian prog rock, Kasvot Växt released a single album in the early 1980s before drifting into the realms of myth. That album was named í rokk, released…
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Artist Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

í rokk Obscure even within the obscure realms of Scandinavian prog rock, Kasvot Växt released a single album in the early 1980s before drifting into the realms of myth. That album was named í rokk, released on a label so small it was essentially a private press. Those who stumbled upon a copy of the record, usually through a dubbed cassette, claimed the music was unlike anything they heard, a record as arty as it was funky.

Consisting of Jules Haugen, Cleif Jårvinen, and Horst and Georg Guomundurson, legend says all four members of Kasvot Växt hailed from different Scandinavian countries and met in Greenland while participating in the scientific research project dubbed Niu Teningur. The intent of Niu Teningur is murky, but it provided a bonding experience for Haugen, Jarvinen, and the Guomundursons, one that stuck after they decamped from the project. Convening in Norway, the quartet wrote and recorded the album that became í rokk.

The album is a swirl of rumors, exacerbated in part because their label, Elektrisk Tung, seems to have disappeared as quickly as the band itself. Most likely a private press masquerading as something grander, there are several stories about Elektrisk Tung's demise, which include its owner finding religion and depositing his stock of Kasvot Växt LPs in a fjord, followed by a warehouse fire in 1984 or 1985.

It's possible that Kasvot Växt's cult crested around this time, with underground rockers in Europe and Britain trading cassettes of í rokk, while the band's name would occasionally surface in fanzine articles. Word of existing copies appearing on both sides of the Atlantic persisted into the '90s.