Kaukasus from Norway is a “supergroup project”, consisting of Ketil Vestrum Einarsen (alto & soprano flutes, tenor horn, treated flute, hulusi, electric piano, saxxy, spektrals, EWI synthesizer), Rhys Marsh (voices, electric guitar, acoustic piano, bass guitar, Fender Rhodes, Mellotron, drum machine, pedal steel guitar) and Mattias Olsson (drums, percussion, Mellotron, Orchestron, Optigan, Moog Taurus, VCS3 & Mother modular system, baritone guitar, bass marimba). You may know these three multi-muscians from White Willow, Änglagård, Motorpsycho, Jaga Jazzist, Opium Cartel and The Autumn Ghost.
Kaukasus view themselves as a “musical tripod” - its weight firmly in the middle, where the three musician's ideas and styles meet; each band member bringing their own signature to the music, from Olsson's supple and dynamic drumming and Mellotron textures, Marsh's impassioned vocals and guitar work, to the strange evocative woodwind and synth lines from Einarsen.
The project started off as a kind of krautrock experiment, morphed into a modern sounding progressive rock album, with elements of and excursions into krautrock, art-rock, and new wave, sometimes reminding me of Japan, Genesis and Peter Gabriel. Marsh's vocals contain that typical 1980s Marc Almond vibe. Due to excellent songwriting this album grows on you with a promise. Although located in different parts, the musicians succeeded to write and record this album in a short amount of time, in precisely two weeks only, which proves the presence of a special chemistry among them.
Kaukasus can surely be considered as one of the best new bands of 2014 and I is likely to rank among the best albums of the year.
**** Gert Bruins (edited by Esther Ladiges)
Where to buy?