Simon Steensland — The Zombie Hunter
(Ad Perpetuam Memoriam APM 9509 AT, 1995, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-03-01For those who know Steensland from his earlier release Lonesome Combat Ensemble on Musea, it will only take a couple minutes of this latest release to figure out that he's turned the energy level up from three to around 11! This one is not for the squeamish or the faint-hearted, Simon's gone over the top this time, and the music is all the better for it. Exploring the musical territory somewhere between later Univers Zero and early Tiemko, his music is a jagged and aggressive full-throttle neo-classical rock, yet all the while unmistakably Swedish. Using bass, marimba, accordion, harmonium, keyboards, cello, drums and some guitar, he paints his fiery abstractions with a vengeance. Guest musicians provide additional keyboards, guitars, drums and occasional wordless voices. Most of the material is very rhythmic, relying on the drums, bass, and marimba to set the pace, but occasionally it dips into a blurry area (as on "Conversation with an Ant") where keyboards float along on irregular chord changes, retaining the angularity but losing the sharp edges. Accordion is used throughout, and adds a Scandinavian folk flavor to many of the tunes. This is urgent, powerful and adventurous music, highly recommended to fans of Univers Zero, Nazca, Art Zoyd and the like.
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more