Guitarist and composer Raoul Björkenheim emerged from Finland in the 80s with Edward Vesala's band, then started his own group, Krakatau, who recorded for ECM and Cuneiform.
His energizing, furious playing has been featured with a wide array of well known international artists, including Mats Gustavsson, Henry Kaiser, Mike Keneally, Bill Laswell, Michael Manring, Paul Schütze, Nicky Skopelitis, Jah Wobble and many others.
He is probably best known for his work with Scorch Trio and with Bill Laswell and Morgan Agren in Blixt, but he has been a busy, active player for the last 30 years. As anyone who has every seen him can attest, he is one of the great, unheralded guitarists of our time.
Apocalypso was written in 1995, & premiered in 1996 at the Helsinki Juhlaviikot Festival.
Apocalypso is a galvanizing & exciting work that features the massed power of 30 guitarists, 8 bassists and 4 percussionists.
This version, recorded in 2000, features Raoul performing all of the parts himself in a tour-de-force of virtual ensemble playing.
released September 11, 2001
Music performed by Raoul Björkenheim.
Produced by Raoul Björkenheim and Heikki Savolainen.
Recorded and mixed by Heikki Savolainen at Seawolf Studios, Suomenlinna, Finland, during summer 2000 and spring 2001.
A few years ago, I was quite happy to learn, that a band of former members under the moniker Soft Machine Legacy, well, kept the Soft Machine legacy alive. I liked their last albums very much, but it seems to me, as if (ha) the return to the original name inspired a return to the very old form. Tunes, grooves, atmosphere - all there. And btw, I'm becoming a huge Theo Travis fan ;-) Carsten Pieper
Oh, wow, this is great! Why didn't I buy this one earlier??!? (The curse of the much too long wishlist, most likely). Anyway, abstract as well as a accessible (well, not exactly Summertime-accessible...), hypnotic, absolutely fascinating, instrumental "math rock". In places, and not surprising given Thelen's and Reiter's Fripp past, reminding of some Crimsoid stuff, but with a clear identity of its own. Impressive line-up, too!
A highlight among all the great stuff on the wonderful Moonjune label!
PS Hard to choose a favorite, so I went for the title track, showcasing the name-giving effect... Carsten Pieper