Exposé Online banner

Burnin Red Ivanhoe — BRI
(Sony Music 88837 03102, 2013, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-01-11

BRI Cover artOne of the most, if not the most important Danish rock band of the late 60s and early 70s, Burnin Red Ivanhoe released three acclaimed albums between 1969 and 1971, split up in 1972, and then immediately got back together to tour and record one more album. Then in 1973 bandleader and saxophonist Karsten Vogel joined forces with other members, as well as ex-members of Hurdy Gurdy and Coronarias Dans to form the fusion supergroup Secret Oyster, who released four albums between ’73 and ’77, but still in 1974 Burnin Red Ivanhoe reunited to record another album, and have been together off and on, recording and touring ever since. BRI is the band’s latest effort, their ninth album overall, and while Vogel (sax, bass clarinet, keyboards) and Kim Menzer (flute, trumpet, accordion, didgeridoo, harmonica and vocals) are the only members that date back to the 1972 period, four recent members round out the lineup as a six-piece, including Assi Roar (bass, vocals) and Klaus Memzer (drums) who were featured on the band’s previous 1998 album Lack of Light. BRI launches with a powerful rocker “Tiden Om Tiden” featuring Jens Runge on vocals with soprano and tenor saxes and harmonica all in play for the duration. Throughout the disc’s eight vocal cuts, lyrics are exclusively in Danish, leaving a couple instrumentals to break things up at key points. None of these is melodically stronger than “M 144,” a venue for brisk flute, sax and guitar soloing over a Saga-like groove. A gentle introspective jazzy piece is served up in “Café Blåhat,” with guest singer Morten Benjamin’s scratchy vox carrying the moment, closing with some great sax soloing by Vogel. Old bandmate Ole Fick joins the new crew on violin for some avant-garde experimentation in “Ironman Ivanhoe,” leading directly into “Natlig Rejse,” one of the album’s strongest rockers with some twisted and tortured sounding vocals giving way to some great soloing on harmonica and soprano sax. A funky jazz-rocker like “Sig Det” offers a brilliant cross section of all Burnin Red Ivanhoe has to offer, recalling some of the steps that Steely Dan might have taken in the Katy Lied period. Runge takes the lead vocal on rocker “Alting Var Bedre,” and also pulls off a memorable guitar solo while he’s not singing. The track also features guest Anne Etard in a great violin – harmonica duel that closes the track. There’s a lot of variety across the ten pieces here, making it nearly impossible to describe in general terms, but that said, BRI is an outstanding release, beginning to end.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Karsten Vogel, Burnin Red Ivanhoe

Latest news

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Anyone's Daughter - First Five Reissued – Anyone's Daughter was one of a group of late 70s German symphonic bands who brought forth a highly melodic rock, colorful and saturated with emotion. Their vocal harmonies were strong, and...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues