Krokofant: Krokofant (CD/LP)
The vinyl edition with CD is now sold out.
This young, semi-improvising power trio – Tom Hasslan (guitars), Axel Skalstad (drums) and Jørgen Mathisen (saxophone) – typify a new and invigorating movement currently sweeping across the Nordic region: hard boiled improvisation and strong instrumental personalities bolted onto rock beats and driving rhythms. Live, Krokofant pull no punches, sounding off like some unholy three-way marriage of early 70s jazz rock (Mahavishnu Orchestra, Terje Rypdal, Ray Russell), the sprawling progressive odysseys of King Crimson and Henry Cow, and the fierce heat of Peter Brötzmann’s harsh free jazz ensembles. Originally a guitar and drums duo, Tom and Axel met at a guitar shop in Kongsberg, a town in southern Norway famous for its annual jazz festival, where they developed a strong bond playing free music together. In 2012 they hooked up with saxophonist Jørgen, who already had a reputation in musical circles after playing in groups like Shagma, The Core and Zanussi Five. When the duo eventually decided to try to capture their unruly sound at the proudly analogue Engfelt & Forsgren Studio in Oslo, they invited Jørgen to join them, and the group was properly born during the sessions you can now hear on ”Krokofant”. They ally a strong discipline (check the precision riffing of the intro to ‘Supermann’) with wide, exploratory arcs (the closing, balladic epic, ‘Castaway’). Tom’s agile guitar and Jørgen’s snaking sax are always fighting to break out, just held in check by Axel’s tough, rhythmic tumble (which gets almost funky on ‘Bodega’). ‘Our mission: more prog to the people!’ says Tom. ‘Or having a good time playing what feels right in the moment.’