Makajodama is an unusual name for a young instrumental quartet from Sweden formed by guitarist Mathias Danielson. On this eponymous album, he plays together with Mattias Ankarbrandt (drums, percussion), Karin Larsdotter (cello, percussion) and Johan Klint (organ, violins). Itís difficult to describe the music of Makajodama, but itís best characterized as eclectic rock. I never heard so many different styles on one album. Itís the specific kind of music for Northern European countries like Sweden, Norway and Finland. Because itís eclectic, you can hear many influences from bands like Univers Zero, Can, Faust, King Crimson and Godspeed, but also from Swedish contemporary composers like Karl-Birger Blomdahl and Allan Pettersson. The music is sometimes complex, sometimes dark and heavy, but also classical mainly due to the violin and the cello.
Opening track Reodor Felgen Blues is a good example of the skills and talents of the band members. This track sounds not only experimental, but very jazzy as well. My highlight on this album is Buddha And The Camel. It begins with a relaxing sound, mainly created by an acoustic guitar and a violin, which gives the music a dreamy atmosphere. Think of open fields, tranquil lakes and dark nights. A flute solo in the vein of Andy Latimer and a Frippertronic-interlude dominate the middle section. Wolof is a very nice piece as well, reminiscent of the music of Anthony Philips, the first guitarist of Genesis. However, this piece ends a bit weird. In the middle of this short track, the violin and the pumping tuba drown the acoustic guitar and suddenly there is only silenceÖ
Train Of Tho ught has the pace of a train riding across extensive plains. In this piece, we hear the sound of a lap steel guitar. The Ayurvedic Soup - a strange title by the way - begins with a cello and drums. The middle section is a strange combination of a slowly pumping bass and violin sounds ending with an eruption of noisy instruments that seem to play out of tune. Všllingby Revisited is a short jazzy track with a saxophone solo, while The Girls At The Marshes is a slow blues song with a repeating theme that would perfectly fit in a movie soundtrack. The final track Autumn Suite is a melting pot of all the musical styles I described earlier.†
The first album of Swedish Makajodama is a nice one especially for people who like adventurous and eclectic prog with many different musical styles.
**+† Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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