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

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

2021-02-10
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Shylock - Gialorgues – Most prog bands that came out of France in the 70s had something stylistically in common: a minimalist approach. Not minimalist in the sense of Philip Glass, say, but rather a profound thematic...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues