Exposé Online banner

Ensemble Nimbus — Scapegoat
(Record Heaven RHCD12, 19998/1998, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 1999-11-01

Scapegoat Cover art

Ensemble Nimbus plays a sort of electric-acoustic chamber music. Percussionist Hasse Bruniusson of The Flower Kings and Sammla Mammas Manna is joined by Håkan Almkvist on guitar and other instruments, Lars Björk on clarinets, and Kirk Chilton on violin and viola. Almkvist is really the driving force here, as he is the only one with a hand in composing all eleven tracks (seven on his own, four in collaboration with various of the others). He’s a good writer – the tunes are inventive and full of interesting twists and harmonies. Only occasionally do they approach rock, like in the opening track, “Burning Arrows,” where halfway through, after a bouncy Middle Eastern flavored melody from the clarinet and viola, we suddenly get a distorted guitar feeding back. But the backing behind it is rather sparse drumming, and it’s topped by strange shouted words.

What they remind me of more than anything is a less aggressive Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, taking the developments of 20th Century composition and putting them in a (more or less) rock band context. The clarinet provides a different sound to the group, where a saxophone would be more expected. Studio effects like taped voices and found sounds spice up the arrangements. Nimbus is really doing something different, giving us a unique combination of modern classical, rock and electronics. While the playing is not generally flashy, the musicians work together to form a quite satisfying, well, ensemble.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 18, 1998 releases, 19998 recordings

Related artist(s): Ensemble Nimbus, Håkan Almkvist (Orient Squeezers), Hasse Bruniusson

Latest news

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Garden Wall - Principium – Garden Wall are an Italian neo-prog four-piece who have recently released this, their first album. If the name of the band sounds familiar to you, recall Garden Wall was one of the names Genesis...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues