Sometimes you haven't heard about a band even if they've already existed for several years. A good example is Panzerpappa, an avant-prog band from Norway that plays instrumentals only. It seems they've already been together for twenty years and have already released five albums before they came up with Pestrottedans.
On Pestrottedans the band consists of Steinar Børve (saxophones, Akai electric wind instrument, programming, keyboards), Trond Gjellum (drums, percussion, Korg Kaossilator, synth effects and programming), Anders K. Krabberød (bass guitars), Jarle Storløkken (guitars) and Hans-Petter Alfredsen (keyboards). Additional musicians on the album are Elaine DeFalco on accordion and Nina Hagen Kaldhol on the Moog guitar.
First let me explain the strange album title before I go deeper into the music on this release. Pestrottedans is certainly a weird title for an album but it is in fact the name of a rat-like animal that you can see on the album cover and inside the booklet. Inside this booklet the story about the album title can be found as well, together with other strange stories the songs on this album tell us about. The idea for this title comes from drummer Trond Gjellum whose wife got sick after a holiday trip. A Google search for the symptoms came to the conclusion that it must be the plague!
Musically the Norwegian musicians present on the seven tracks a style which has influences taken from RIO, Avant-garde, Canterbury, jazz rock and progressive rock. When you hear the sometimes complex compositions you know right from the start this is not something you can find in everybody's album collection. It is mainly for people who listen to albums made by Happy The Man, National Health, Hatfield And The North, Samlah Mammas Manna, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, Frank Zappa, Accordo Dei Contrari or French TV who will appreciate Pestrottedans for their collection.
The seven instrumentals are certainly worth listening to if you like a lot of soloing on a track. Also if you like music which has a lot of improvised parts you might check out this album. But if you don't like too many complex parts and love to hear now and then a singer you better avoid the latest release of Panzerpappa.
As for myself I certainly had some fine moments listening to Pestrottedans because the musicians certainly know how to play a great solo on their instruments. That's something I always like to hear. Also the compositions they wrote are of a high level. But as said before it is not everybody's cup of tea for sure. You just have to love the style of music they are playing. All I can say is that those who enjoy the music of the bands mentioned above should try to listen to this album or one of their other releases!
*** Henri Strik (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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