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!
Saturday, October 7, 2017
TILLSAMMANS – Tillsammans (Silence, 1973)
International relevance: ***
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.)