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

2017-10-18
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 $amp; 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

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Lady Lake - Unearthed – By one scheme of reckoning, rarities collections come three categories: those that are only of interest to established fans of the artist, those that can serve as an introduction to a newbie, and...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues