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Soft Ffog — Soft Ffog
(Karisma Is It Jazz? KAR230, 2022, CD / LP / DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2022-08-16

Soft Ffog Cover art

Is It Jazz? Records is the new sub-label of Karisma Records, and the first band signed to the label is the Norwegian instrumental quartet Soft Ffog with their self-titled debut album. Soft Ffog started as one-off gig commissioned by Kongsberg Jazzfestival in 2016. Despite their success at the festiival, Soft Ffog just couldn't get it together, playing the occassional gig here and there. However, gigging did help them to hone their chops and finally in 2020 they decided the time was right to record their first album. The combined members of Soft Ffog (Tom Hasslan (Krokofant) on guitars, Axel Skalstad (Krokofant) on drums, Trond Frønes (Red Kite, Grand General) on bass, and Vegard Lien Bjerkan (WIZRD) on keyboards) have probably played with everyone in the Norwegian jazz scene, but on Soft Ffog they do their own thing, combining the sounds from King Crimson with Terje Rypdal, Deep Purple with Pat Metheny, and it sounds awesome! The four tracks — “Chun Li,” “Zangief,” “Ken,” and “Dhalsim” — show lots of creativity, imagination, and a bit of Frank Zappa. For me the best moments occur on the closing track “Dhalsim” where Soft Ffog pays homage to King Crimson’s Red with intricate playing, blistering guitar, and dissonance. Another excellent Norwegian band to pay attention to.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Soft Ffog

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