Exposé Online banner

Kaipa — Kaipa
(Musea FGBG 4091AR, 1975/1993, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, 1994-05-01:

Kaipa  Cover art

In their early years, the Swedish band Kaipa were a quartet playing music in the symphonic rock vein as typified by Yes or Genesis. Vocalist/Keyboardist Hans Ludin is nearly a dead ringer for a Swedish Jon Anderson, and this comparison may have affected the band's quest for international acclaim, being that their debut was released in 1975 and that progressive rock bands were not in vogue with the big labels by this time (regardless of the fact that they were on Decca in Sweden). Their debut is a fine album, showing Kaipa in their early stages. Guitarist Roine Stolt is an immediate standout and proves to be a unique element — his Allman Brothers/Santana influenced playing is a breath of fresh air for this type of music. All of the melodies, many taken from traditional Swedish folk, seem to be worked out and many are quite excellent and accessible. Not quite a classic (I tend to like a little more pyrotechnics) but a definite winner for the symphonic fan.

Inget... is a more mature work with a greater palate of keyboard sounds (including Mellotron). There is a side-long suite and drummer Ingemar Bergman adds some harsh vocals somewhere in the middle of it than can be off-putting to the uninitiated. The album is more mature than its predecessor, and the title cut that ends the album is a beauty and probably most indicative of their style, dreamy symphonic rock with simple yet very effective melodies and a great deal of emotion. Probably the best of their studio albums, this reissue includes several bonus tracks — a short live version of the side-long track (see below), and rather dull English vocal versions of the same mixes with a singer that reminds one of Gabriel or Lanzetti of PFM. Overall, an excellent purchase.

Stockholm Symphonie to say the least, has been a bitch to locate. A very limited Japanese pressing, this is a brilliant live radio show from between their first two albums, with most of the songs coming from their debut. Kaipa come across more effectively live (the bonus track on Inget... also is a good example of this) with a more insistent and intense delivery with greater room given to Stolt's excellent guitar work. Being that this may be impossible to find, it would be best to go for one of the first two, but believe me, Kaipa were a super live band and this may be my favorite of the three.

With the rejuvenation of the Swedish symphonic scene, this is an ideal time for the reissues of possibly one of their most influential bands. Recommended.


by Henry Schneider, 1993-12-31:

Here we have another CD in a long line of excellent Musea progressive rock reissues. Kaipa was a Swedish band that released their self-titled debut album in 1975. Kaipa, the album, by mid-seventies standards contains music full of youthful exuberance while finding its roots in both classical and Swedish folk music. Kaipa, the band, rivaled their Anglo-Saxon contemporaries Camel. Their dual lead guitars are reminiscent of Camel’s album Mirage. At other times Kaipa, the album, reminded me of efforts by other Scandinavian musicians such as Pluto and Pekka Pohjola. Kaipa, the album, grew on me. I found myself humming snatches of the songs hours later. Though singing in Swedish, Hans Lundin’s voice is a pleasure to experience. His rich falsetto does not have that annoying shrillness of Jon Anderson’s. The many Hammond organ riffs and the essentially instrumental songs beautifully combine classical music, popular folk melodies, and the best of English and Italian progressive rock. The outstanding track on the CD is the final song "Oceaner Föder Liv," a 9:29 extravaganza brimming with exquisite harpsichord solos, thunderstorms, weird voices, and gorgeous melodies. Though not the best progressive band or album of the seventies, Kaipa, the album, is an essential CD for the progressive rock fan. Musea should be applauded for bringing this long lost album to a new audience.

Filed under: Reissues , 1993 releases, 1975 releases

Related artist(s): Kaipa

More info

Latest news

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » 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

Rotor - 3 – Rotor is a power trio (drums, bass, and electric guitar) from Berlin who play aggressive hard-hitting instrumental music that is a mixture of Starless era King Crimson and stoner rock. This...  (2008) » Read more

Nuova Idea - In the Beginning – Nuova Idea are probably best known for being part of Italy's largest family tree, including the New Trolls and Osanna. Nuova Idea's Ricky Belloni (on Clowns) joined the New Trolls later in...  (1995) » Read more

Barimar & Capricorn College - LP di Primavera – This is by far the worse album on Vinyl Magic, a collection of short songs in an undeveloped thematic pop vein. Arguably, there are some decent moments, and taken by itself it's not truly...  (1995) » Read more

Ziff - Sanctuary – This is the second time out for this German neo-progressive four-piece, operating in a similar territory as their debut Stories from a couple years ago. At the heart of their sound is a dense wall of...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues