Boomkat Product Review:
Mean and muscular fusion of free jazz honk, psych rock and bluesy swagger from the Norwegian trio of Axel Skalstad, Jørgen Mathisen and Tom Hasslan aka Krokofant. File somewhere in the gulf between Mahavishnu Orchestra and Peter Brötzmann
“Krokofant 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. Equally powerful on record and on stage, Krokofant pull no punches, sounding off like some unholy three-way marriage of early 70s jazz rock (Mahavishnu Orchestra, Terje Rypdal), the sprawling progressive odysseys of King Crimson and Van Der Graaf Generator, and the fierce heat of John Zorn or Peter Brötzmann’s harsh free jazz ensembles.
If their 2014 debut album was a fresh breath of youthful energy, the follow-up showed a trio more confident of their abilities after extended live work. Their third album in just three years follows in this tradition, with Mathisen’s fat syntheziser tones adding a new colour to the soundscape. They still ally a strong discipline with wide, exploratory arcs, Tom’s agile guitar and Jørgen’s snaking sax fighting to break out, just held in check by Axel’s tough, rhythmic tumble. Only 23 years old, the young drummer is something of a sensation, combining pure energy with superior technical skills.
This is a trio where you can hear the individuals pushing each other to new heights while keeping the solid group foundation intact.”