Exposé Online banner

Qoph — Kalejdoskopiska Aktiviteter
(Record Heaven RHCD11, 1998, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 1999-04-01

Kalejdoskopiska Aktiviteter Cover artI don’t know if Qoph is Sweden’s answer to Finland’s Five Fifteen, but there are at least superficial similarities (perhaps augmented by the fact that I received this disc on the same day I got Five Fifteen’s latest). Like the Finns, Qoph play a flavor of hard rock spiced with psychedelic and progressive elements; unlike them, they sing in their native language and do not have a female vocalist. The basic element that recurs in most of the songs is a hard shuffling blues riff, but the band will vary it in unexpected ways, like going to an unexpected note or varying the time signature. For example, the initial section of the near-fourteen minute closer “Förförande rädsla” uses a riff very like ZZTop’s version of “La Grange” with an extra beat added to the end of every other bar. All of the songs are comprised of numerous sections, often in differing time signatures, keys and tempos. The centerpiece of the album is the three track “Nadir” suite. (My Swedish dictionary fails me miserably in translating Qoph, but I think all the parts have something to do with the moon.) The playing throughout is very tight, the musicians sticking together through all the abrupt changes of the arrangements. While the elements of Qoph’s music (blues riffs, multi-part compositions, and so on) are not uncommon, somehow their combination of those elements ends up sounding unique. Or maybe it’s just that they’re singing is Swedish. I’ve wracked my brain trying to think of valid comparisons for their sound, and the best I’ve come up with is what might have happened if early bluesy Jethro Tull had gone jazzy instead of folksy. Picture “New Day Yesterday” faster with a hyperactive jazz drummer and higher vocals.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 17, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Qoph

Latest news

2020-05-15
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

2020-05-14
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

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
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

2020-03-24
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


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - Thousand Days of Yesterdays - A Tribute to Captain Beyond – For most of us, Captain Beyond is a sort of footnote in the history of progressive rock, having achieved little apparent success or recognition for the three records they released between 1971 and...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues