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Thread: FEATURED CD: Grovjobb - Vättarnas Fest

  1. #1
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    FEATURED CD: Grovjobb - Vättarnas Fest

    Grovjobb will go down as one of the more "modern" day obscurities. They were on and off the recording scene in just a few years, releasing 3 albums during the late 90s, early 2000s. Vättarnas Fest was their 2nd album, and perhaps the one that has received the most attention. There's a nice mixture of folk, prog, world music, and psych that is a throwback to the 70s.



    Review from ProgArchives:
    This is real throwback psych folk, sounding more like something from the early seventies than the late nineties, which I think is great is the retro kind of way it was meant to be presented. I thoroughly enjoy listening to this CD and sort of lost it in my collection for quite a while before recently coming across it again. Too bad its been gathering dust as it is definitely top-drawer stuff.

    I have a CD of old seventies psych music from my friend Peter Lindahl (In the Labyrinth) titled simply ‘Psychedelic Sweden’. The guitar on this record reminds me a lot of the Kawai Peter used to play “Syrran” and the unfinished “Mary Mercury”, which appear on that CD but were recorded nearly forty years ago. There’s also tabla and sitar here along with flute, which combine to paint a sort of patchouli hazy picture of light and smoky folk psych of the highest order (take “highest” to mean what you will).

    There are no vocals on the album which I personally have mixed feelings about. On the one hand I love words with music, especially folk-leaning music, since the words help paint the story that is inevitably behind all the chords and rhythms. On the other hand singing can also get in the way of well-played instrumentals, and I have a hard time imagining in this case how vocals would have improved the overall sound. This is a trip best enjoyed sans words, I think.

    The really amazing thing about these songs is that they are as vibrant and ranging as they are without any keyboards or digital studio effects to speak of. Simply guitar, tabla, flute, sitar and some decent yet understated violin. The quartet does a remarkable lot with just a little, for which they are to be commended.

    The opening “Visa från Arendal” has an achingly familiar guitar riff that is not only recognizable but also sounds an awful lot like some sort of electric keyboard. Guitar experts could probably explain this if I knew one of those people, but I just dig the groove. These are highly melodic songs with fat-fingered string-bending and a toe-tapping backbeat that almost makes them danceable at times. Just the kind of groove that can keep your attention until the very last note plays out. “Sauna” in particular is not only smooth but also manages to rock out and manages to sound a lot longer than its 4:45 length.

    And speaking of long, the band serves up another common psych offering with an extended tabla/sitar/guitar jam that seems to employ some raga constructions in the nearly twenty- minute long closing piece “Skogsgläntan Vättarnas Fest”. Despite the appearance of being an improvised jam, the construction is remarkably cohesive as the sitar weaves a series of movements backed by gentle tabla beats that sometimes rise to the forefront as alternating guitar passages wander in and out. The rather lengthy raga sequence takes forever to repeat itself, and when the rewind comes its not all that recognizable as the tabla has given way to snare drums and the sitar has been all but completely replaced by electric guitar. The transition is smooth and well done, rising slightly in tempo and energy before slowly fading to a close. A real trip.

    I know very little about this Swedish band and to be honest only picked up their CD because of the unusual cover; that turned out to be a lucky move. This is a great album full of somewhat dates sounds delivered with the power of modern studio engineering and musicians having the advantage of learning much from the dusty old records in their fathers’ collections. I’d liken their approach on psych to contemporaries like Smell of Incense or even Voice of the Seven Woods. If you know either of these bands or their ilk you will undoubtedly get into these guys; if you don’t check them out anyway. A top-notch recording that falls just short of being a masterpiece only because I can’t quite add the word “groundbreaking” to the many superlatives already heaped on it. A high four stars though, and well recommended. - Clem of Nazareth



    WANTED: Sig-worthy quote.

  2. #2
    News: Cosmic Eye/Music Bazz arrived at a preliminary agreement to reissue all Grovjobb's albums on vinyl. Probably in one 3LP box. I'll keep you posted on actual dates, though I guess it will be somewhere in mid-2017.
    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  3. #3
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    I've only ever heard their debut, and I remember really liking it...

    Time for a reappraisal.

    Clem is a very trustworthy PA reviewer, BTW.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  4. #4
    False Number 9 Pr33t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
    News: Cosmic Eye/Music Bazz arrived at a preliminary agreement to reissue all Grovjobb's albums on vinyl. Probably in one 3LP box. I'll keep you posted on actual dates, though I guess it will be somewhere in mid-2017.
    Very cool, Spyros! I wish there was more of this happening than seeing the same old things reissued again and again. There is a whole swath of music from the non-vinyl era that many collectors would appreciate. But I do understand many of these bands were obscure in that CD era, so the demand may not be high.

  5. #5
    Member nosebone's Avatar
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    Thanks for featuring this.
    This ones new to me.
    no tunes, no dynamics, no nosebone

  6. #6
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    Man, that cover art is more of a throwback than the music!! Anthropomorphized instruments, like on an album for kids...

  7. #7
    Early Kebnekaise sounding.

  8. #8
    Member ashratom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
    News: Cosmic Eye/Music Bazz arrived at a preliminary agreement to reissue all Grovjobb's albums on vinyl. Probably in one 3LP box. I'll keep you posted on actual dates, though I guess it will be somewhere in mid-2017.
    Good choice Spyros! I think the CDs are OOP as well. The Simon Jensen Band's All You Can Eat is a good jazz flute album as well. I think that's the last output from this bunch.

  9. #9
    Casanova TCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nosebone View Post
    Thanks for featuring this.
    This ones new to me.
    +1

    Like it!.
    Pura Vida!.

    There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind. ∞
    Duke Ellington.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ashratom View Post
    The Simon Jensen Band's All You Can Eat is a good jazz flute album as well. I think that's the last output from this bunch.
    Guitarist/sitarist Jerry Johansson had quite a few post-Grovjobb albums. I only ever heard "Next Door Conversation" (sitar + tambura + classical string quartet).

  11. #11
    I like the cover. Reminds me a bit on Jeroen Bosch.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
    News: Cosmic Eye/Music Bazz arrived at a preliminary agreement to reissue all Grovjobb's albums on vinyl. Probably in one 3LP box. I'll keep you posted on actual dates, though I guess it will be somewhere in mid-2017.
    I rather have them on CD.

  13. #13
    Member ashratom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad to the Bone View Post
    Guitarist/sitarist Jerry Johansson had quite a few post-Grovjobb albums. I only ever heard "Next Door Conversation" (sitar + tambura + classical string quartet).
    Ah! Didn't know that. Thanks for the info.

    And Prestonplatform - great review of Simon Jensen, and all the Grovjobb's!

  14. #14
    Official dates confirmed for the 20th November 2016.

    Each album in a total of 200 copies with printed inner sleeves:
    100 coloured vinyl € 24.00
    100 black vinyl € 20.00

    You can pre-order at: contact@musicbazz.com


    The covers of the vinyl edition:

    Landet Leverpastej




    Vättarnas Fest

    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  15. #15
    Member Zalmoxe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad to the Bone View Post
    Guitarist/sitarist Jerry Johansson had quite a few post-Grovjobb albums. I only ever heard "Next Door Conversation" (sitar + tambura + classical string quartet).
    I just discovered his album from 2017 "On the verge of the last things known". Man, this really flew under the radar of many. Two long songs, pure bliss.


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