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Thread: Danish Prog Recommendations ?

  1. #1
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    Danish Prog Recommendations ?

    My wife and I have been watching Danish TV series stuff, getting a taste of the culture. Got me wondering what's out there for Danish Prog (old and new) ? Thanks in advance!
    Genuine prog album from back in the day! - *free download* : masquepremiere.bandcamp.com

  2. #2
    Old

    Culpeper's Orchard - [s/t]
    Ache - De Homine Urbano and Green Man
    Alrune Rod - [s/t] and Hej Du
    Day of Phoenix - Wide Open N Way
    Blast Furnace - [s/t]
    Old Man & the Sea - [s/t]
    Coma - Financial Tycoon
    Dr. Dopo Jam - Entree
    Burnin' Red Ivanhoe - M144 and W.W.W.
    Secret Oyster - Sea Son
    Thors Hammer - [s/t]
    Savage Rose - [s/t] and In the Plain
    Mo-I-Rana - Loners & Lovers

    Note: MANY of these acts were outright "hippie-rock" rather than "ordinary" progressive bands, often playing wildly psychedelic music and stemming from the very broad Danish countercultural underground movement of the day. Much of it had a pronounced US West Coast-vibe to it, others were obviously marked by British "proto-prog" etc. yet still they were quite refined and sophisticated crafts. There is, however, preciously little "GeneYes-style" progressive to be had from Denmark.

    Newer Danish acts I'd recommend would be Spids Nøgenhat, Etcetera, Lis Er Stille, Slarafenland, On Trial, Eterklang, Causa Sui, Mew and (especially) Under Byen.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  3. #3
    Not sure about old, but a newer Danish group that some (myself included) consider to be a good modern progressive band is Mew. Their last three albums in particular are quite nice:

    + - (2015)
    No More Stories... (2009)
    And The Glass Handed Kites (2005)


    Not exactly prolific, but the quality makes up for it.

    Edit: And thanks to SS for that post. I had no idea there were that many.

  4. #4
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    There are no prog scene in Denmark today, but there are bands that does proggy or borderline proggy stuff: Robin Taylor, Causa sui, Mew, John Sund. Try this: https://robintaylorsuniverse.bandcam...album/evidence (with members from Coma, Burning red Ivanhoe, Secret Oyster, and a zappa jam band)
    Efterklang is definetely worth following, this their new direction : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl4s1AKU_mw
    There is a small avant scene also with connection to jazz. Like this band 'Selvhenter' a 'noiseband' (consisting only of woman) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wtPR12u3AE Great live band!

  5. #5
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Culpeper's Orchard - [s/t]
    Ache - De Homine Urbano and Green Man
    Alrune Rod - [s/t] and Hej Du
    Old Man & the Sea - [s/t]
    Burnin' Red Ivanhoe - W.W.W.
    Secret Oyster - Sea Son, Krankenhaus and debut

    to a lesser extent Rainbow Band/Midnight Sun



    modern bands: Don't know of any (outside Efterklang, that is), now that I think of it.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  6. #6
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Use Richard's list as a reference, and start with the first Culpeper's Orchard album. It's an all-timer.

  7. #7

    Last edited by Bake 1; 06-25-2015 at 10:15 AM.

  8. #8
    Estimated Prophet notallwhowander's Avatar
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    I loves me some Causa Sui and Papir - retro-rockers in a krautrock vein.
    Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world.

  9. #9
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    ½ acoustic, ½ electric

  10. #10
    Choir Of Young Believers is my favourite Danish band from the last couple of years. Got to know them through the song "Hollow Talk" featured in the series The Bridge.



    Their 2012-album "Rhine Gold" is a masterpiece in my ears.

    Tim Christensen has some fine albums out with quite a lot of Mellotron on them.
    Efterklang has been mentioned.
    I also like Our Broken Garden, Pauseland and The Rainfall Years.

    Older stuff: De-Film (progressive synthi-pop).

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu
    Use Richard's list as a reference, and start with the first Culpeper's Orchard album. It's an all-timer.
    This. A big fan of the Danish scene from the 1970s here, and I don't have anything significant to add to Richard's list which covers all the classics. Culpeper's Orchard is one for the ages, with some of the best melodies (and some of the best guitar playing) ever put to tape. But be careful: this only applies to their first LP. The subsequent albums are nice for what they are, I guess, but the spark was not there anymore.

    Not so with Dr. Dopo Jam - another fave of mine. Like Richard, I'd probably mention "Entree" as their best one, but the 2nd LP has its supporters, and overall I'd say they are pretty much interchangeable. The music is very eccentric and inventive, with clear nods to Zappa. They have a habit of putting, like, dozens of musical ideas into one song, and as such, their records can be a bit frustrating - you'd expect them to develop the idea that you just heard, but more often than not you find them quickly moving to something else altogether. Some people are annoyed by that, but not me - I find it a testament to their amazing creativity. Come to think of it, it's even a little Cardiacs-like in a way.

    Blast Furnace is akin to Culpeper's Orchard, maybe not as complex. It also rocks hard and contains what I consider the saddest song that ever appeared on a prog album - "Goodbye Mr. Bobo".

    Coma is like Dr. Dopo Jam who actually started to care about their listener a bit. Great stuff.

    I could go on and on there. What a wonderful scene!

  12. #12
    My recommendations from the 60s/70s

    ACHE De homine urbano
    AKROPOLIS Half a million hours symphony
    ALRUNE ROD Hej du
    BLAST FURNACE Blast furnace
    BLUE SUN Blue sun
    BURNIN' RED IVANHOE W.W.W.
    COMA Financial tycoon
    CORONARIAS DANS Visitors
    CULPEPER'S ORCHARD Second sight
    DAY OF THE PHOENIX Wide open 'n' way
    FLEUR DE LIS Facing morning
    FLOOR 1st floor
    FORENINGEN TIL LIVETS BESKYTTELSE Foreningen til livets beskyttelse
    FUREKAABEN Prinsessevaerelset
    GREEN GRASS Aalborg
    HARA GASH Vandreudstilling
    MAXWELLS Maxwell street
    MIDNIGHT SUN Midnight sun
    MOIRANA Loners and lovers
    OLD MAN AND THE SEA The old man and the sea
    PAN Pan
    RAINBOW BAND Rainbow band
    RODE MOR Hjemlig hygge
    SAVAGE ROSE In the plain
    SAVAGE ROSE Dodens triumf
    SECRET OYSTER Sea son
    THOR'S HAMMER Thor's hammer
    TOMRERCLAUS Tømrerclaus
    VESTENVINDEN Gummimasker
    VINDHARPEN Rejsen til yenan
    YOUNG FLOWERS Volume 2
    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  13. #13
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Levgan View Post
    Culpeper's Orchard is one for the ages, with some of the best melodies (and some of the best guitar playing) ever put to tape.
    Absolutely true; this is one of THE masterworks of Scandinavian rock music, no matter genre or time period. The sheer atmosphere and quality of song on this album is practically unbeatable. Odd influences from Edgar Broughton Band, Benefit-era Tull, Quicksilver Messenger Service (debut album) and Crosby, Stills & Nash [s/t], yet altogether completely unique.

    Another couple of albums I'd like to recommend from back then are the beautiful records by Pan (Pan, 1970), whose leader/singer/axeman Robert Lelievre (who was French) actually had played with Culpeper's Cy Nicklin (who was British). Lelievre's fate was incredibly tragic, as he committed suicide under extreme circumstances after years of unattended depression with extensive incidents of self-harm. These are two tracks off of their sole album, and you'll instantly detect the underlying melancholy here:



    Then there was the highly underrated (and more uplifting) Barbarella record from 1975, one of the very few ones (next to Alrune Rod and a handful of others) with vox in their native tongue:
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  15. #15
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    Coma: Amoc - influenced by Zappa, a.o. in the fusion domain - they even made a Magma'ish tune which I heard live, but it never made it to an album. The saxplayer records with Robin Taylor these days

    https://youtu.be/V4oYGrl2n84?t=18m10s

    At one gig the guitarist' Burman amp went bust even before the gig started. I had the same kind, but with to speakers, so he borrowed mine.
    Last edited by Zeuhlmate; 06-25-2015 at 03:57 PM.

  16. #16
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    My favorite Danish band isn't Prog but rather the indie band Figurines.

    Very much in the sway of Built To Spill or Modest Mouse.

    But better.
    Prog's Not Dead

  17. #17
    The Day of Phoenix also illustrate how strangely original an approach much of this music took to harmony, melody and general "vibe". Their first album is fascinatingly different from just about anything else I ever heard out of Scandinavia (or most of Europe) at the time, and particularly in terms of that bizarre mixture of rawness and experimental intricacy. And they had an amazingly talented vocalist in Hans Lauridsen, whose voice here is almost ghostly in its timbre.


    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  18. #18
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    ^^^One of the first bands I saw live, they were also warm up to The Who in 1970 (Tommy tour) which I also attended.
    They were rather west-coast inspired (Mad River I heard), but made their complete own take on this - the sound reminds me somewhat of Tassavallan too.

    Here is some more:

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    They were rather west-coast inspired (Mad River I heard), but made their complete own take on this - the sound reminds me somewhat of Tassavallan too.
    Yes, that very odd kind of apparently fragmented or even disjointed intricacy of their music definitely is reminiscent of something from the debut Mad River, if not for the fact that the latter album wasn't even available in Europe at the time! I sometimes wonder of they'd perhaps listened to Beefheart or even Hampton Grease Band, although I guess the latter's not more likely than the Mad River. I can certainly also hear the parallell to Tasavallan (and their second album in particular). But I'm still quite amazed at how tight and flowing that material on Wide Open is.

    Some more faves from Denmark, starting off with the marvellous "Living on the Hill" (and hey, there's even a Roger Dean cover involved ):


    Old Man & the Sea, and again: the atmosphere of it!


    And the awesome Thors Hammer:
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  20. #20
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Down Memory Lane:

    Young Flowers - Oppe i træet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_3qsnCQJzY
    Burning Red Ivanhoe - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lkco5BsmliY and Purple Hearts https://youtu.be/dhjm_InZkuQ?t=46m10s
    Rainbow band (aka Midnight sun) - Living On The Hill https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMdN17DhzSA earlier version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkfK9s5CYDs
    Delta Blues band (in the 'acid' period) - Shit on my shoes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxfqvBRpGZs
    Sensory System - While Nixon Plays The Piano https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2Bou4_9vJQ
    Alrune Rod - Natskyggevej https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX5LkajpJs0

    Something happened in the 70'ties, mainstream and 'rock recipy' struck bigtime and most bands got pretty boring.

  21. #21
    False Number 9 Pr33t's Avatar
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    I'd second the recommendation for the following as my favorites out of Denmark:

    Culpeper
    Secret Oyster
    Coma
    Dr. Dopo Jam
    Thors Hammer

    And two more obscure albums not yet mentioned:

    Iron Duke - First Salvo
    Hair - Piece


    Out of curiosity, what TV shows were you watching? I recently watched Klovn, which is basically the Danish Curb Your Enthusiasm, and quite funny.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor
    Odd influences from Edgar Broughton Band, Benefit-era Tull, Quicksilver Messenger Service (debut album) and Crosby, Stills & Nash [s/t], yet altogether completely unique.
    I definitely here Tull, Broughton and CS&N there (probably Quicksilver too, I just don't remember their debut all that well). It is interesting to note, though, that if I imagine a situation where someone would recommend an unknown album to me citing these influences, I'd probably just say meh and move on to something else. Maybe that's just me, but on paper this set of influences doesn't sound all that tempting. And yet Cy Nicklin and company somehow managed to transcend them and build something completely new and radically original on that foundation. Magic!
    Then there was the highly underrated (and more uplifting) Barbarella record from 1975, one of the very few ones (next to Alrune Rod and a handful of others) with vox in their native tongue
    Thanks for the heads-up on this one. I have the album somewhere on my shelves but probably haven't paid enough attention to it. Based on my vague recollections it was absolutely nothing to write home about, but I just played the track you posted and it sounded really nice. A revisit is imminent.

  23. #23
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    @Pr33t
    Before 1986 there was only one (1) channel in Denmark unless you lived near Sweden or Germany.
    I dont watch many danish shows/sitcoms so I cant really say whats good. I know Klovn has got a reputation, I have seen some of it, but found it more embarrasing than fun, perhaps wrongly, but I listen more to radio (talk) than I watch TV. And I prefer when humor kicks the trendy or those in power (politicians or stinking rich) and not the regular sods around. Its too easy.

  24. #24
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    I really prefer Day of Phoenix first album to the second! But if you buy it on CD you get both.

    Barbarella had early Alrune Rod's organplayer 'Pastor' Ziegler on board.

  25. #25
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    a lot of people here might mention Culpepers but that one is pretty pedestrian to these ears

    The following albums are all better IMO
    13 Secret Oyster Sea Son Den 1974
    13 Secret Oyster Straight to the Krankenhaus Den 1976
    12 Coronarias Dans Visitor Den 1975
    12 Secret Oyster Furtive Pearl (aka Secret Oyster) Den 1973
    12 Secret Oyster Vidunderlinge Kaelling (aka Astarte) Den 1976
    12 Vinding, Mads Group Danish Design
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

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