Welcome to my progg blog! That's progg, not prog, because that's how the Swedish progressive music is spelt here. Progg isn't merely progressive in musical terms, it refers to the Swedish alternative political movement in the 70's as well. Therefore you'll be able to read about Fläsket Brinner as well as Knutna Nävar as my blog progresses. Please note there are no downloads here, only reviews and Youtube links!
Thursday, October 4, 2012
ANNA SJÄLV TREDJE – Tussilago Fanfara (Silence, 1977)
International relevance: ***
Instrumental Ranked #23 on the blog's Top 25 list
This overlooked duo is sometimes
dismissed as a Tangerine Dream or a Ash Ra Tempel rip off, and maybe
that's the reason why it isn't as heralded as it should be. True they
have a sound reminiscent of some of kraut rock's more cosmische acts,
but to write them off simply as epigones is unfair. There's something
decidedly Swedish to them, a strong sense of a mystical fir forest
blended in with the outer space soundscapes. Or if you like, they are
constantly travelling the border between a wonderful dream and a
Their three dimensional sound is highly
evocative, and halfway through ”Inte utanför tiden” a distant
fuzz guitar kicks in, hinting at emotions provoked by the majestic
Älgarnas Trädgård. ”Tussilago Fanfara” is a 40 minute floating
journey through the inner and outer space.
Anna Själv Tredje, who took their name
from Leonardo da Vinci's painting ”The Virgin and Child with Saint
Anne”, managed to release this one album only, but they did several
sessions for Swedish radio show Tonkraft. One track from such a
session was included in the compilation series
”Tonkraft”, on the ”1977-78” volume to be precise. ”Snöfall
och daggyra” is only available on this various artists compilation, and their full Tonkraft
recordings serve as additional albums since they consisted of entirely
exclusive material. It's well worth tracking down those rare
recordings if you like ”Tussilago Fanfara”.
Leonardo da Vinci's painting, c. 1510.
Band members Mikael Bojén och Ingemar
Ljungström founded Anna Själv Tredje already in 1971. It's unclear though when they eventually split up. This is how parts of the story goes: When Ljungström met Dan Söderquist
from the aforementioned Älgarnas Trädgård, they formed trio Cosmic
Overdose in 1978, together with Ragnarök's Kjell Karlgren. Cosmic Overdose
released two albums (plus a few singles and a cassette-only album) of
excellent electronic post punk. Ljungström took the stage name Karl
Gasleben (sometimes Terminalkapten Gasleben) and Karlgren performed
as Regnmakarn. In 1981 Cosmic Overdose became Twice A Man after
Karlgren/Regnmakarn left the group. It seems possible though that
Anna Själv Tredje and Cosmic Overdose had overlapping careers for a
while, as one Per-Axel Stenström claims he played with Anna Själv
Tredje for a while the early 80's, i.e. after Cosmic
Overdose already was in full swing. So it's possibly that Anna Själv Tredje gradually folded as Cosmic Overdose were catching speed.
At one time in the early 90's, Bojén played morning and evening shows in Slottskogen (the Central Park of
Gothenburg, the stomping ground of both Anna Själv Tredje and Cosmic
Overdose). According to one attendant, the performances sounded a lot
like Klaus Schulze.
The stunning cover art to ”Tussilago
Fanfara” was designed by the prolific Tom Benson, a noted
photographer whose exceptional and suggestive photographic montages
has been exhibited several times in art galleries in Sweden. Benson
also took the picture of Nynningen for their ”För full hals”
album, and he was a close friend of Freddie Wadling, one of Sweden's
most remarkable vocalists ever. Benson unfortunately died in 2008.
The cover of ”Tussilago Fanfara” fits Anna Själv Tredje's music
”Tussilago Fanfara” is one of those
albums that still demands a CD reissue. The lack thereof shows just
how poorly the progg legacy is treated by the original labels and reissue labels alike. So much fabulous music is
still forced to inhabit the sphere of obscurity, and it's a huge
shame that this album is still part of it.