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KROKOFANT

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Norway


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Krokofant biography
KROKOFANT is a Norwegian jazz-rock trio, consisting of Tom HASSLAN (guitars), Axel SKALSTAD (drums) and Jørgen MATHISEN (saxophone). Their name is taken from a mythical creature out of a popular Norwegian children's song, a cross between an elephant and a crocodile, "a lumbering trumpeting beast with a fearsome array of teeth in its snapping jaws...", a very good description of their sound.

The band began as a duo, after HASSLAN and SKALSTAD, both former winners of Kongsberg Jazzfestival recruitment scholarship, met in a record shop in their hometown of Kongsberg, and started playing free music toghether. In 2012 they hooked up with reputed saxophonist Jørgen MATHISEN (SHAGMA, THE CORE, ZANUSSI FIVE and HUMVEE, amongst others), and they played an impressive debut performance at the Kongsberg Jazz Festival of that year.

In 2014 they released their eponymous debut album on the Norwegian jazz-rock label Rune Grammofon, to rave reviews, followed by their sophomore album in 2015. KROKOFANT plays an energetic and explosive kind of improvisational fusion of jazz and rock, that is both free and structured, and also heavy, sounding almost as mathy metal at times. Recommended to fans of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, Terje RYPDAL, KING CRIMSON, HENRY COW, SHINING and MESHUGGAH.

Bio by The Bearded Bard

Krokofant official website

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Buy KROKOFANT Music


Krokofant IIIKrokofant III
Rune Grammofon 2017
Audio CD$13.67
$13.66 (used)
Krokofant IIKrokofant II
Rune Grammofon 2016
Audio CD$13.68
$13.67 (used)
KrokofantKrokofant
Rune Grammofon 2014
Audio CD$13.74
$13.73 (used)
Krokofant II by KROKOFANT (2016-08-03)Krokofant II by KROKOFANT (2016-08-03)
Rune Grammofon
Audio CD$44.59
Krokofant by KROKOFANT (2014-08-03)Krokofant by KROKOFANT (2014-08-03)
Rune Grammofon
Audio CD$43.44
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KROKOFANT discography


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

3.97 | 10 ratings
Krokofant
2014
3.26 | 8 ratings
Krokofant II
2015
3.14 | 5 ratings
Krokofant III
2017

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

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KROKOFANT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Krokofant II by KROKOFANT album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.26 | 8 ratings

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Krokofant II
Krokofant Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars KROKOFANT are a young trio out of Norway consisting of drums, sax and guitar. This is album number two for the boys who play a heavy, avant style of Jazz that is both improvized and structured. The debut simply blew me away with how insane it could be at times. I actually gave it a spin earlier this week to compare the two albums and found the debut to be much more extreme with more guitar. Now normally I'd prefer the more tamer sound of "II" but man the debut had me actually laughing out loud at times with how "out there" it got. I mean the guitar, sax and drums all go beyond where most bands would fear to tread, if they could even play the kind of complex music that this band offers.

"C.O.T.A." hits the ground running with honking sax and drums. Soon a sax melody arrives that I'm not that into. Contrasts continue until just before 3 1/2 minutes when it calms right down with drums only then some bluesy guitar arrives that soon changes to a complex style as the drums pound away. The sax is back before 6 1/2 minutes replacing the guitar to the end.

"Sail Ahead" is another uptempo number with sax and drums leading the way. It settles just before 2 minutes then the sax turns dissonant after 3 1/2 minutes. Sax only a minute later but not for long as the drums come rumbling in. "Nieu" opens with the guitar and sax ripping it up. A very interesting sound here as it is very avant sounding. The sax becomes melodic after 1 1/2 minutes as the guitar is replaced by the drums. Some crazy sax before 5 1/2 minutes.

"The Ship" is led by sax and drums to begin with and the sax gets pretty creative at times. A calm before 5 minutes with drums only then the guitar starts to solo. Just a shred-fest after 6 minutes then the sax is back late. "Snake Dog" is my favourite song on here. I just like that intro with guitar and drums that is repeated throughout. It's contrasted with a section that includes dissonant sax and those passages dominate. Guitar, sax and drums all let their hair down after 4 minutes. What a display! Themes are repeated.

"Watchtower" is uptempo with sax and drums to start. It settles after a minute as the guitar replaces the sax. And the guitar is just bonkers here as he lights up the soundscape until the sax returns after 4 minutes.

I feel the same way about their debut as I do KAYO DOT's "Choirs Of The Eye". I'm just not worthy to hear such complexity and "out there" music and no it's not all good(haha). But this sophomore album while tamer is still very avant and difficult but I'm just not nearly as impressed. So 3 stars it is.

 Krokofant III by KROKOFANT album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.14 | 5 ratings

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Krokofant III
Krokofant Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Chalcobalt

3 stars Music out of the ordinary is rather normal in progressive music, and Krokofant are certainly not normal. With a drum kit, an electric guitar and a saxophone this Norwegian trio are doing their best to sound so improvised messy as possible with their jazz fusion-metal with a psychedelic vein. Often chaos, but every once in a while the rhythm is structured into nicely rocking tunes, albeit packed with quirky paces and odd time marks, as in the brilliant Juice and enjoyable first half of Wrong Turn. However, the album can become monotonous after a while, some additional instruments in the Pot could have made it more dynamic although it might just as well have been even messier. I do like the Q uite deep and heavy guitar sound, and the drummer is doing an admirable job. Overall, too little structure for me to enjoy repeated listening, but fascinating music nevertheless. Anyone with any fondness of improvisational style sax while simultaneously handling heavy guitar riffs will want to invest some time with this one.
 Krokofant by KROKOFANT album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.97 | 10 ratings

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Krokofant
Krokofant Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars KROKOFANT are a young power trio out of Norway and they signed to the Rune Grammofon label. Certainly the album cover should remind people of other bands on that label like ELEPHANT9 and GRAND GENERAL. We get drums, guitar and sax and the music is mostly in the Free Jazz style although these guys are fans of Prog-Metal so it can be quite heavy. The sax reminded me of the late Elton Dean, at least when he's wailing away in a dissonant manner while the more regular sounding sax excursions remind me of KING CRIMSON's "Islands" period. Yes this can be difficult at times and truth of that is going to the RYM site and seeing how dreadfully low this album is rated. Man I dig this stuff though it can be over the top at times. It's not for the faint of heart, that's for sure. Oh, the name comes from cross breeding of the elephant and crocodile which apparently hasn't been perfected just yet.

"Polyfant" opens with these strange and unsettling guitar sounds( I believe) then the drums, guitar and sax kick in. Check out the insane sax after 3 1/2 minutes. Not worthy! "Supermann" has this precise and intricate interplay that is relentless until it all settles back before 2 1/2 minutes as we get random drum patterns along with the sax soloing over top in a dissonant way. "Bodega" impresses me with the low end sounding guitar as the drums rumble and the sax rips it up over top. A calm after 3 1/2 minutes which is welcomed at this point(haha) then the guitar and drums seem to feed off one another, so good! The guitar is lighting it up before 6 1/2 minutes then the sax returns just before 7 minutes and a minute later he's killing it.

The sax at the start of "Thispair" reminds me of "Islands" by KING CRIMSON. The guitar is digging deep and the drums seem to follow his lead. The sax gives way to the guitar briefly and when the sax returns it reminds me of KRAAN. "Ejs" is a short uptempo track where the guitar raises hell throughout. "Castaway" is the most laid back piece and the longest at over 12 1/2 minutes. Shades of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA can be heard here as the tension is never released. A calm 3 minutes in as we get some atmosphere as sounds come and go. This is a beautiful section. It's building and the sax turns dissonant 9 1/2 minutes in. Incredible! Love the drumming over the final minute.

There should be some sort of a warning sticker on this album but once again the nation of Norway has blessed us with some very talented musicians who have come up with a recording that is both powerful and innovative. A solid 4 stars.

Thanks to historian9 for the artist addition. and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates

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