Exposé Online banner

Qoph — Kalejdoskopiska Aktiviteter
(Record Heaven RHCD11, 1998, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 1999-04-01

Kalejdoskopiska Aktiviteter Cover artI don’t know if Qoph is Sweden’s answer to Finland’s Five Fifteen, but there are at least superficial similarities (perhaps augmented by the fact that I received this disc on the same day I got Five Fifteen’s latest). Like the Finns, Qoph play a flavor of hard rock spiced with psychedelic and progressive elements; unlike them, they sing in their native language and do not have a female vocalist. The basic element that recurs in most of the songs is a hard shuffling blues riff, but the band will vary it in unexpected ways, like going to an unexpected note or varying the time signature. For example, the initial section of the near-fourteen minute closer “Förförande rädsla” uses a riff very like ZZTop’s version of “La Grange” with an extra beat added to the end of every other bar. All of the songs are comprised of numerous sections, often in differing time signatures, keys and tempos. The centerpiece of the album is the three track “Nadir” suite. (My Swedish dictionary fails me miserably in translating Qoph, but I think all the parts have something to do with the moon.) The playing throughout is very tight, the musicians sticking together through all the abrupt changes of the arrangements. While the elements of Qoph’s music (blues riffs, multi-part compositions, and so on) are not uncommon, somehow their combination of those elements ends up sounding unique. Or maybe it’s just that they’re singing is Swedish. I’ve wracked my brain trying to think of valid comparisons for their sound, and the best I’ve come up with is what might have happened if early bluesy Jethro Tull had gone jazzy instead of folksy. Picture “New Day Yesterday” faster with a hyperactive jazz drummer and higher vocals.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 17, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Qoph

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Sensitiva Immagine - E Tutto Comincio Cosi... – Here is one that Edison Records (RIP) of Japan spared no laudatory word on when it was first reissued by them back in the early 90s. Marquee's encyclopedia claims its origins as a cassette release...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues