Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Psychedelic Backfire II (Rune Grammofon/Southbound)

 |   |  1 min read

Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Psychedelic Backfire II (Rune Grammofon/Southbound)

With last year's Greatest Show on Earth by the Norwegian power-jazz trio Elephant9, we warned they were not for the faint of heart. They were muscular, offered hard-edge funk with prog-rock tendencies and peppered a bit of wry wit throughout.

But they connected at Elsewhere and so this one – with the legendary Swedish guitarist Reine Fiske who played with jazz saxophonist Jonas Kullhammar and is in the psychedelic Amazing – was always destined for a fair and curious hearing, even if we did miss the first installment of this Psychedelic Backfire.

The opener on this album – a considered but almost Vanilla Fudge-like exploration of Stevie Wonder's You Are The Sunshine of My Life – eases you into its 14-plus minutes through gloomy and portentous opening passages on organ (it's sunshine out of darkness) before being tickled into melodic life . . . but it isn't until more than five minutes in before it takes some serious shape with Hammond, drums and bass . . .  then a further minute until Fiske picks it up to push it towards a vibrant slice of constrained astral prog with pastoral then funky undertones from keyboard player Stale Storlokken.

It's a slow start on an album which then takes off with the more aggressive Skink/Fugl Fonix. Organ/keyboard players in this genre inevitably invite comparisons with Keith Emerson but Storlokken here obviously enjoys the interplay with the buzzing aggression of Fiske and the drive from the rhythm section.

These are all extended jams, just four tracks, nothing less than 14 minutes and the closer Freedom's Children/John Tinnick almost 19 with Fiske whipping out wah-wah on a hard rock groove.

They were recorded live during a four-day residency at the Kampen Bistro in Oslo and are perhaps of more interest to those along the rock route than even adventurous jazz listeners.

For most, that previous one Greatest Show on Earth might be the easier place to start this journey.

We placed that one under Jazz but this is posted here simply under Music. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Robert Scott: Tascam Hits (Powertool Records)

Robert Scott: Tascam Hits (Powertool Records)

These low-fi home recordings by Scott -- a member of the Bats and the Clean -- were recorded in the late 90s and those who demand their music polished and honed won't find much of interest here.... > Read more

Jordan Zevon: Insides Out (New West/Elite)

Jordan Zevon: Insides Out (New West/Elite)

This album isn't here because this is the 27-year old son of the later Warren (although the surname did attract attention to it) but because it is so . . . Well, if you know his dad's stuff this... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

EPs by Shani.O

EPs by Shani.O

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Shani.O. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Juana Molina: Un Dia (Domino)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Juana Molina: Un Dia (Domino)

This singer-songwriter from Argentina will confound any expectations you might have of someone who was once a comedy actress and in skit-shows on local televsion. This album with odd elements... > Read more