Exposé Online banner

Alwanzatar — Heliotropiske Reiser
(Apollon Records ARP007CD, 2017, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-09-04

Heliotropiske Reiser Cover art

Tangerine’s classic albums of the 70s have an enduring appeal that causes them to be influential even 40 years on. Phaedra, Rubycon, Ricochet, and Stratosphear stand as a solid body of work that has been much emulated, if never really bettered, even by Tangerine Dream itself (to be fair, they moved along into other areas — for better or worse — rather than simply repeating themselves). The burbling sequencers are the most-copied feature of those albums, but there was always more to them than just programmed arpeggios. Alwanzatar is a one-man project of Norwegian multi-instrumentalist Krizla (Kristoffer Momrak), and he takes many cues from the old Tangerine playbook, and takes them in new and interesting directions. There are sequences, though they are often not the most prominent parts of the arrangements. Melodies are covered by a variety of different instruments, including flute, Mellotron, and synthesizers. This may sound like an odd comparison, but in some ways Heliotropiske Reiser makes me think of what might have happened if Tangerine Dream had recorded an album of Bo Hansson covers — something about the melodies and the way they fit together with the chords and rhythms. I don’t know what kind of drum machines or samplers were used for the rhythm parts, but they sound rather like vintage devices from the 70s used with parts that are sometimes more modern in style. The five tracks present 44 minutes of sounds that bridge the retro and the modern, with the longest being “Rikosjett” — Norwegian for “Ricochet,” to make the inspiration clear — though the piece features more chromaticism than the progenitors generally indulged in. The range of moods and tempos is good, so the album never drags, and there’s a constant influx of new sounds to keep things interesting. Fans of analog synthesis and classic sounds should eat this up; it’s one of the best one-man projects I’ve heard in some time.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Alwanzatar (Kristoffer Momrak)

More info
http://alwanzatar.bandcamp.com/album/heliotropiske-reiser-2

Latest news

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

New Trolls - Tempi Dispari & L.I.V.E.N.T. – The New Trolls always only seemed to flirt with the progressive genre, only in the early 70s and then not always consistently. To sum up their career with a mere description doesn't do them...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues