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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Kebnekaise, Sweden

Kebnekaise - Ljus Från Afrika. 1976 Silence
Kebnekaise - Elefanten. 1977 Silence
Kebnekaise - Vi Drar Vidare. 1978 Mercury

Lead by guitarist Kenny Håkansson, Kebnekaise are an interesting group in that all of their 6 albums (not including the 2009 release) are very different from each other, and yet they are one of the often named bands when looking to identify a "typical progressive rock Swedish group". I know I'm guilty on that point.

Their 1971 debut is an acid blues rock affair, not too far removed from bands like Midsommar and early November. The 1973 self-titled album mixes Swedish folk music with instrumental psychedelic rock, and for me represents their best album. It's also the one I think of, in regards to my opening thoughts, when reaching for a name that represents early 70s Swedish progressive rock. 1975's "III: Innehåll" follows and is somewhat similar to the one prior, but is definitely more folk oriented. All of the above were reissued on CD by Silence back in 2001 (or prior with "II").

Light from Africa sees Kebnekaise moving from the comforts of home and trying their hand at a completely other style. This is a pioneering world music effort, pre-dating even Embryo's attempts. I'm not too keen on it myself, but one has to admire their spirit of exploration. "Vi Drar Vidare" was a disappointing end to their 70's career, adding in the all-too typical elements of funk and light fusion, and it mostly fell flat IMO. These last 3 albums have not been reissued. I personally would love to see "Elefanten" at least.

Elefanten moved to UMR

Priority: 2 (for Elefanten)

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