Exposé Online banner

Karakorum — Beteigeuze
(Tonzonen TON027, 2017, LP / CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-02-20

Beteigeuze Cover art

Karakorum is yet another progressive rock band weaving elements of classic 70s music into a modern style. They’re based in Mühldorf, Germany, though in many ways they remind me of recent bands from farther north — Sweden, Norway, and Finland. Beteigeuze is their debut album, having been preceded by some demos from 2016, and consists of the three-part title suite. “Beteigeuze” is the German name for the star called “Betelgeuse” in English, and I’ll admit I’m a bit unclear about the meaning in this context. The lyrics tell some kind of a story, and it seems kind of science fictional, but that’s sort of beside the point. The music is a distinctive amalgam of many elements, and at varying times, a listener might be reminded of Yes, King Crimson, Camel, Pink Floyd, and many other bands, including a bit of Gong-ish whimsy. Listening for the umpteenth time, I started to detect touches of Nektar, almost as if the band that recorded Remember the Future had hooked up with some Scandinavians to record another epic and invited Daevid Allen to sit in. The musicians encompass quite a variety of moods, augmenting their base lineup of two guitars, keyboards, bass, and drums with mallet percussion and many sound effects. The guitars often have a touch of blues in the choice of notes (leading to the mentions of Pink Floyd and Nektar); the keyboard sounds are generally the classic analog tones of organ, electric piano, and so on; and the bass and drums will sometimes kick into a great riff a little like Captain Beyond. Throughout, the melodies are good, and the arrangements ebb and flow, building and releasing tension over the course of the longish tracks. Fans of Wobbler and other current bands working in this general area would do well to check out Karakorum.

Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Karakorum

More info

Latest news

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Ars Nova - Transi – If this trio of all female musicians were a pop group, I doubt if anyone would think twice, but in the testosterone driven underground of Prog, the idea is practically a novelty (at least for...  (1995) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues