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Psychedelic/Space Rock • Sweden

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Qoph biography
Swedish act QOPH was formed in 1995, originally an instrumental trio consisting of Federico de Costa (drums), Filip Norman (guitars) and Patrik Persson (bass). They soon discovered that being an active instrumental act proved to be quite the challenge, which lead to the addition of Robin Kvist (vocals) to the band.

In 1998 they landed a record deal with Transubstans Records, who issued their debut album "Kalejdoskopiska Aktiviteter".

6 years later the band decided to do it all themselves when they issued their sophomore effort "Pyrola" in 2004; and for this production they also aimed more towards aan international market by featuring tracks with English lyrics rather than their native Swedish.

Qoph official website

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QOPH Videos (YouTube and more)

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Buy QOPH Music

Record Heaven/Transubstans Records (ZYX) 2013
Audio CD$11.00
$12.41 (used)
Glancing Madly Backwards by QophGlancing Madly Backwards by Qoph
Code 7 - Transubstans
Audio CD$41.47
Kalejdoskopiska Aktiviteter by Qoph (2013-05-04)Kalejdoskopiska Aktiviteter by Qoph (2013-05-04)
Record Heaven
Audio CD$180.31
Kalejdoscopiska AktiviteterKalejdoscopiska Aktiviteter
Record Heaven
Audio CD$23.39
An Lyser ManenAn Lyser Manen
Phantom Sound & Vision 2008
Audio CD$67.99
Audio CD$56.99
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QOPH discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

QOPH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.85 | 15 ratings
Kalejdoskopiska Aktiviteter
4.00 | 22 ratings
3.97 | 12 ratings
4.03 | 19 ratings
Glancing Madly Backwards - Rare & Unreleased 1994-2004

QOPH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

QOPH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Slottsskogen Goes Progressive volume 2

QOPH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

QOPH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Aldrig tillbaks
4.33 | 3 ratings
Än lyser månen

QOPH Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Glancing Madly Backwards - Rare & Unreleased 1994-2004 by QOPH album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.03 | 19 ratings

Glancing Madly Backwards - Rare & Unreleased 1994-2004
Qoph Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Swedish band QOPH have been around in one shape or another for just about 20 years at this stage, with four full length albums to their name as well as a couple of EPs. "Glancing Madly Backwards" is their most recent one, and was released in 2014 through Swedish label Transubstans Records.

For a band with such a small catalog, relatively speaking, it is a curious move for them to release an album that apparently consists of odds, ends and various tidbits, and that they date back quite a few years as well is another curious aspect of this production. Then again, I don't really know how large this band is in terms of fan interest, so there may well have been a demand for a production of this kind, generally speaking. Then again, when listening through this production it also becomes crystal clear that the material here is more than good enough to warrant an official release, and the sheer variety at hand makes it difficult to envision this album released in a different manner. The ten compositions does cover a fair bit of different stylistic ground, as well as a few different approaches. As such, releasing this one as a new studio album would have been a bewildering experience.

I mention this early on as albums of this kind tends to be regarded as fan service constellations by many in the buying audience. When taking a look at the cover art and seeing the description that this is a collection of material that dates back to the period 1994 to 2004, quite a few would, sadly, disregard this one as an album they can safely be without. Which would be to their loss.

We're basically treated to three different kinds of song here. On one hand we have the shorter, pacier and energetic tracks, with a foundation somewhere in between blues based hard rock and stoner rock, with driving bass and dark guitar riffs as core elements, with a distinct blues-oriented sound. All of them to a lesser or greater degree given additional flavoring by way of psychedelic touches from the guitar, some jazz-tinged details appears here and there, and in the case of the brilliant Anticipations some more or less subtle avant touches and Frippian touches are brought to the table as well.

The second aspect of this production is pretty much summarized by the concluding tracks 'gonblick and F'rf'rande R'dsla, epic length creations that hone in on progressive rock to a much greater extent by way of stylistic changes and alterations, multiple and recurring themes, and with some touches from folk music added to a stylistic palette that still incorporate details from jazz, psychedelic rock, blues, vintage hard rock and with a touch of vintage stoner rock here and there as topping. Progressive rock by way of variation and structural complexity if you like, with a distinct 70's sound to it.

The last aspect of this album are best exemplified by the relatively short Herr Qophs Villfarelser and the massive, 18 minute long Kalejdoskopiska Aktiviteter. Both of them are comparable to the more complex progressive rock type of creations mentioned in the previous paragraph, but an added detail to both of these creations is a stronger feeling of improvisation. If they actually are improvised or merely performed to come across as such I don't know, but both of these compositions comes across as looser and less defined throughout, in a manner that at least for me indicates a stronger improvisational spirit applied in the creation of these pieces.

The most important aspect of this album is that it's an entertaining one however. All of the songs comes across as accomplished, well developed and well performed creations, maintaining tension and interest quite easily indeed. An album that should have a fairly broad appeal to my mind, and especially amongst those with a strong affection for early 70's classic, blues based rock alongside an interest an interest in progressive rock of the same era. In addition, I'd say that those fond of early 70's hard, psychedelic rock should also take note of this album.

 Freaks by QOPH album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.97 | 12 ratings

Qoph Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Swedish band QOPH was formed in the mid 90's, and released one album back in 1998 (Kalejdoskopiska Aktiviteter) and a second in 2004 (Pyrola) before they appears to have hit a spell of inactivity. Come 2012 and Qoph returns again with their third full length studio album, "Freaks", which was released on Swedish label Transubstans Records.

The main basis for the majority of the material at hand this time around appears to revolve around a solid rhythm foundation and strong, distinct vocals. Compelling drum patterns and a mostly dark-toned, somewhat peculiar bass guitar sound that often crafts a distinct underlying atmosphere throughout. With strong, melodic vocals on top as a key feature. Then there's the guitars of course. Sometimes dark-toned and aggressive in a rather Tony Iommi inspired manner, sometimes light in tone and gentler in expression but most of all with a clear and distinct emphasis on distorted delivery in a psychedelic drenched manner whether we're treated to gentler licks, harder riffs or guitar solo excursions. Not psychedelic through and through, but you're never far away from the psych-drenched guitars on this album, that's for sure. And perhaps somewhat peculiar, we're also treated to a few occasional nods in the direction of jazzrock. Not in an overly manner, but more on a subtle level.

With a few detours here and there this is a solid album, although the final two pieces to my ears is somewhat of a downwards slide. The blend of energetic classic rock and lazier, jazzoriented movements on Remedy doesn't really work out for me, and while the initial movements of the following The Devil Rides Out are compelling in a light psychedelic meets jazz kinda manner, the darker toned, almost avant foundation of the main part of this song never really struck home with me.

Those two exceptions aside "Freaks" is an enjoyable romp through a psychedelic laced classic and progressive rock universe, with nods in the direction of artists as different as The Doors, The Beatles and Black Sabbath to be enjoyed along the way. And comes recommended to those with a taste for psychedelic rock that enjoy a bit of variety.

 Pyrola  by QOPH album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.00 | 22 ratings

Qoph Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars QOPH plays a psychedelic brand of music and there is there is some variety here including an ANEKDOTEN feel at times. The guitarist does his Fripp imitation quite well as we get lots of angular melodies.The vocalist has a strong voice, and he sings in English. QOPH by the way is the nineteenth letter in the Hebrew alphabet. There are several guests playing a variety of instruments including moog, theremin, clavinet and percussion.There is also mellotron on a couple of tracks courtesy of Nicklas Barker from ANEKDOTEN.

Things get started with "Woodrose" and what stands out are the rolling sounds of the drums throughout.The vocals are strong and there are some flute melodies.The guitar sounds are angular. Nice. "Half Of Everything" features some brief harmonica early in the song and more later. There are more similar sounding drums and the guitar is great. I am reminded of ANEKDOTEN 5 minutes in as the bass is prominant. "Korea" is about Filip Normans trip to North Korea. So the guitar melodies are Eastern sounding. The instrumental passages are so good. The guitar reminds me of Fripp.The vocal melodies are nice but the guitar steals the show. Some mellotron waves 7 minutes in.

"Travel Candy" is an instrumental and along with "Fractions" they are the most psychedelic songs on this album. Spacey synths, psychedelic guitars, theremin, and the drumming are all fantastic. I have to mention Simon Steensland who plays theremin on "Travel Candy" because no one plays that instrument like he does. Incredible ! "Stand My Ground" is a blues flavoured song that has an ALLMAN BROTHERS feel to the guitar melodies 3 minutes in and later. Clavinet is featured as well. "Moonstripper" is a song where I find the vocals a little distracting. The mellotron after 2 minutes just goes on and on as guitar and drums play on. "Fractions" is a psychedelic tune with ethnic strings and sitar. The vocals are reserved and the song is spacey and drifting. The ending is hypnotic.

"Korea" , "Travel Candy" and "Fractions" are my favourites, while "Woodrose" and "Half Of Everything" are also good, particularly the instrumental passages.

 Kalejdoskopiska Aktiviteter  by QOPH album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.85 | 15 ratings

Kalejdoskopiska Aktiviteter
Qoph Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars Qoph's first album is a very strange and unique blend of Avant prog mixed with a weird psychedelic progmetal, which is not easily qualified or classed into one genre or the other, with the whole affair being slightly grunge too. The Swedish double guitar (no KB) quintet is always quite energetic, they invite a few musicians to help out on the sax and violin. Qoph took the brave step to sing in Swedish, but unlike some of the more conventional Swedish prog groups like Anglagard or Landberk (where I think it even enhances the atmospheres), it does not work quite as well, and is sometimes even a little derange-some in a few tracks, despite of the music's crazy and off-the-wall feel. And the jester on the artwork will already give you an idea of what is awaiting you once you pop the disc in your deck.

How to describe this group's sound except by drawing a wide circle around it and hope that Qoph will somehow fit somewhere inside it. Picture the Red Hot Chilli Pepper, Miriodor, a straight and non-jazz X-Legged Sally with very strong traces of Tool, with some of Plastic People Of The Universe and Jolly Joker hints and you might start to see what I'm getting at. VdGG and Crimson are among the influences you'll also hear (especially when the sax is around as it sounds like Jaxon meeting Collins and often it veers the music towards organized chaos) in the second track Ta Farval. The bass is often funky and the jumpy feel of some tracks (most noticeably in Nadir I) reminds of RHCP's ultra technical funk-rock. These guys go nuts very often and are not afraid to push the boundaries with a basic 50's RnR (the short Nadir III track) and a 60's (surf- garage-type) one at the start of the closing 14-min monster Radsla, both sufficiently modified and actualised to keep today's proghead interested & happy, and when then they end the track onto a Johnny Winter-like hard blues rock, but rest assured that the inside core of the track is definitely Tool-esque. For this writer, the highlight of the album is the psychic Herr Qophs Villfarelser track that takes you into almost the 67 Friscoland. Simply excellent!!! The whole albums slides by smoothly and it seems much shorter than it really is, which is a real quality.

This review certainly will not be one of my better one, but I must say that this music is unusual enough for me not being able to talk too well about it, even after four years of owning the album. Nevertheless, this debut album is an impressive mother, which must be at least heard once in your lifetime, even if I will not guarantee you that you will keep the album very often in your rotation once the initial discovery and acquaintance period is over

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to windhawk for the last updates

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