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Release Info: ISKRA-ALLEMANSRATT, LP, 1977, SWEDEN
Maintaining our recent course of Swedish underground offerings, here's a fairly crucial one. I'd long ago shared their final LP Fantasies, though their attack by that point had morphed into a sorta whimsical ethno jazz fusion ala later Archimedes Badkar. At the time of my posting that album some three years ago, I'd opined that this earlier and more lauded era of their work was of a lesser order. Truth be told, I'd probably still opt for Fantasies given the choice of any one of their albums, but this more overtly improv driven era of their work now sounds pretty damn remarkable to me, though being in the mood for it helps. If I remember their history correctly, Iskra were doing improvised childrens music workshops around this time, which certainly jibes with the whimsical spirit of some of the instrumental voicings here and their zoological call and response arrangements, particularly evident on the cuts that open and close the first side. This squirrelly approach manifests itself elsewhere in forms ranging from the ceremonial to celebratory, at various times evoking everything from Bengt Berger's Bitter Funeral Beer to Germany's Anima, with everything from Gamelan to New Orleans funeral marching band music coursing through these tracks.
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