Exposé Online banner

Panzerpappa — Pestrottedans
(AltrOck Productions ALT-052, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-10-16

Pestrottedans Cover art

Even someone who spends as much time listening to music as I do can’t listen to everything that comes out, even if you constrain the possibilities to progressive rock and jazz. So I come into this Panzerpappa release having never heard the band before. They’re often described as inspired by or reminiscent of the Canterbury scene, and it’s definitely there, with the overall sound kind of like Samla Mammas Manna crossed with later National Health, or maybe Phil Miller’s In Cahoots with an accordion. Which is to say the arrangements are complex and quirky, based more on polyphonic interplay than chords, and live in a region somewhere between jazz and rock. Jarle Storløkken’s guitar and Steinar Børve’s saxophones and EWI get most of the lead melodies, with keyboards (mostly from Børve) prominent but mostly supportive. The group has lost a bass player along the way, with the low end filled by keys (and possibly guitar synth), but Trond Gjellum’s drums are very tasty without being flashy. The real stars here are the compositions and arrangements. While each track is unique and full of nifty twists and turns, they are of a piece, with a bright, cheerful sound, almost completely lacking in darkness or dissonance. In spite of the avoidance of overt dissonance, the harmonic palette is sophisticated, with rich voicings and unexpected harmonizations. The album is entirely instrumental and really a joy from start to finish — easily among the highlights of 2016.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Panzerpappa, Elaine Di Falco

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Retsam Suriv - Exégesys – Retsam Suriv is a progressive metal band from Argentina. Exégesys is their first album and was released in 2009 (but copyrighted in 2007). The band consists of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues