Exposé Online banner

Major Parkinson — Blackbox
(Karisma KAR136, 2017, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-01-30

Blackbox Cover art

If you’re fond of figuring out which musical boxes artists should go into, this Norwegian band will drive you nuts. They’re progressive rock, of course. Until they aren’t. Then they’re a cabaret from outer space, or a dance band from a 21st Century ocean liner, or something else equally non-boxworthy. Up front we have the unusual singing of Jon Ivar Kollbotn, with a gruff, somewhat sinister-sounding voice that sometimes descends into spoken words. It’s an example of low-gravelly tones that don’t sound like death-metal harsh vocals, but don’t sound like most male singers either. There are female vocals as well, with guest Linn Frøkedal’s pure, sweet tones providing a dramatic contrast to Kollbotn’s rumbling. Several other women contribute vocals, including the ten-member Volve Vokal ensemble. The instrumental side of Major Parkinson consists of seven members contributing keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, and violin; they are joined by a large cast of guests on strings, woodwinds, brass, and more. There are so many elements melded into the music that it’s hard (and probably pointless) to sort them out. In the more upbeat moments, they’re a little reminiscent of Cardiacs, and at other times it might be Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, Tom Waits, Nine Inch Nails, or something off a big-sound movie soundtrack. In the wrong hands, it would sound overblown and indulgent, but Major Parkinson pulls it off. Blackbox is a great album that seems to exist in a world all its own.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Major Parkinson

More info
http://majorparkinson.bandcamp.com/album/blackbox

Latest news

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

2021-02-10
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Astralis - Bienvenida al interior – Astralis are part of the explosion of new prog rock bands emerging from Latin and South America, Chile to be more specific. The band was formed around guitarist and singer Patricio Vera in 1999 and...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues