Saturday, October 7, 2017

TILLSAMMANS – Tillsammans (Silence, 1973)

International relevance: ***
Swedish vocals

Tillsammans means ”together” and they could hardly have chosen a more appropriate name. There are so many people involved in the project including several members of Fläsket Brinner, Arbete & Fritid, Kebnekaise and other major early progg acts, that were I to mention them all, I'd expand the Internet's total amounts of data by half.

Headed by Greg FitzPatrick, ”Tillsammans” is more or less a Handgjort spin-off, with several of the tracks originally written for them. Needless to say, the sound of Tillsammans is nowhere near as sparse as on Handgjort's legendary 1970 album, but the songs still have a sweet delicacy, be it the frail grandeur of ”Söner frågar fäder” (which sounds a bit like a slowed down ”Sympathy for the Devil”), the Leo Kottke/Jorma Kaukonen inspired ”Brev till Radionämnden”, or the tender ”Cathrine” highlighted by Kenny Håkansson's ever so beautiful guitar. Or any track really.

That's the thing about ”Tillsammans”: the multitude of players is used economically, timbres are never overused, only implemented when really needed to ensure the album to turn out as lush and rich as possible. Harp, accordeon, clarinet, bagpipe and cello all help creating a beautifully crafted web of characteristics, but a particularly nice touch is the appearance of balalaika orchestra Södra Bergens Balalaikor adding a unique texture to a very adorable album.

Two years in the making, it's no wonder this massive undertaking was a one-off thing. Omnipresent visionary FitzPatrick's next major venture was writing ”Snorungarnas symfoni” for Samla Mammas Manna in 1976, then releasing a couple of mildly entertaining solo albums before becoming in-house synthesizer wizard for pop duo Adolphson-Falk in the 80's. The lyrics (which are on the political side but not intrusive) were written by Christian Diesen who abruptly switched careers and is now a criminal law professor at the University of Stockholm. He's also author of crime fiction.

(Please note that the band Tillsammans who released an eponymous album in 1976 on the Kompass label is an entirely different Christian outfit.)

En förfrågan

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