Panzerpappa — Astromalist
(Rune Grammofon RSCD2135, 2012, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-04-01
It's good to see Panzerpappa back in action again, this being their first album in around six or seven years, now signed to the Rune Grammofon label. Even in their humble beginnings with self-released demos Passer Gullfisk (Goldfish Watcher) and Hulemysteriet (The Cave Mystery), the latter packaged in a ziplock bag with a photocopied track list, this band always showed a lot of promise, blending eclectic influences that seem to come from the RIO school but heavier and with a strong sense of melody, a touch of the Canterbury sound, some Scandinavian folk hints, and if one dissects the band name, you will find Zappa in there, not the comedic or heavy guitar stuff, but touches of the splendidly arranged instrumental style of The Grand Wazoo and Hot Rats. The last time this writer heard Panzerpappa was their first official self-release Farlig Vandring from 2004, and while the four-piece lineup remains the same from that release, featuring keyboards, saxes, drums, percussion, bass and guitars (plus some notable guest players), some evolution is inevitable. Today their sound retains all those previous influences, but everything is ratcheted up a notch or two, their vision stronger and more vivid, certainly a bit heavier, and a more comfortable execution – one doesn't hear the effort, it just all comes through in blazing brilliance. Those who appreciate Univers Zero in their more recent phase (less dark...) blended with Samla and all the gathered aforementioned influences played to perfection will surely enjoy this; Panzerpappa's finest moment to date.
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more