Qoph — Kalejdoskopiska Aktiviteter
(Record Heaven RHCD11, 1998, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 1999-04-01I 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.
Related artist(s): Qoph
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
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
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more