Raoul Björkenheim — Apocalypso
(Cuneiform Rune 156, 2001, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2002-04-01
The only other release by Raoul Björkenheim I’ve heard is the collaboration he did with Nicky Skopelitis from 1997. I liked that a lot, but with two guitarists, you never know who’s doing what. This time out, it’s all Björkenheim. Credits are pretty sketchy (“Music by Raoul Björkenheim” is all it says), but I think it’s safe to assume all the guitar parts are his. Many guitarists, given free reign, might produce a shred-fest of fast runs doubled by their own bass playing, power chords and flashy solos. Luckily, that’s not what we have here. Björkenheim’s interests lie more to the sonic possibilities of the guitar as sounds rather than traditional notes. He uses slides both on bass and guitar, and often the noises are mangled beyond certain identification of their sources. The drum parts, which may or may not be programmed (they sound pretty real), focus on throbbing toms, slow and moody as on “Sages” or faster and building to an incredible frenzy on the title track. “Circles” features alternating parts: a brutal chugging dissonance and a spaced-out sustain backed by quiet fiddly notes. My favorite is undoubtedly the title track, which features a chorus of chunky rhythm parts and a wild melody voiced in octaves, maybe like Snakefinger on steroids, and an edgy solo with little respect for such niceties as key signatures, like Henry Kaiser in a really bad mood. This track alone is worth the price of admission.
Related artist(s): Raoul Björkenheim
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more