Kongsberg, a town located at the southern end of the traditional region of Numedal, is perhaps best known for being the home of Norway’s major defence contractor, Kongsberg Gruppen, formerly Kongsberg Vaapenfabrikk. Two of its well known products were the Kongsberg Colt and the Krag-Jørgensen rifle. The latter was adopted in the late 19th century as the standard army rifle in Denmark, Norway and U.S.A.
Notable, since 1964, the town has hosted Kongsberg Jazzfestival, an annual international jazz festival where prominent world acts such as BB King, Diana Krall, Ornette Coleman, Joshua Redman and John Scofield have played in recent years.
Also, Kongsberg it’s the home of some prominent artists such as Morten Harket – the lead singer of A-ha; jazz pianist Morten Qvenild; jazz guitarist Ivar Grydeland and pianist Håkon Austbø – among many others. And while Oslo it’s proud of Shining, now Kongsberg have this murderous trio called Krokofant. Krokofant?
What can we expect from a band named after a bizarre mixture between crocodile and elephant? Definitively good stuffs!
Krokofant debuted during the Kongsberg Jazz Festival 2012 playing at the festival’s main stage for free jazz and impressed the audience with their fierce energy and electrifying mixture of jazz and punk rooted hardcore. Consists of Tom Hasslan (guitar), Jørgen Mathisen (sax) and Axel Skalstad (drums), Krokofant is not afraid to explore new paths, and uses both rocking riffs and extensive improvisation to surprise and amaze the listener.
Tom Hasslan and Axel Skalstad is from Kongsberg and both have won Kongsberg Jazz Festival’s recruitment scholarship earlier. They are considered major new talents of the new Norwegian music scene. Jørgen Mathisen (The Core, Zanussi 5, Humvee, etc.) are known as one of the leading saxophonists.
Their debut album is released on Rune Grammofon in February 2014 It was recorded and mixed by Christian Engfelt (Engfelt and Forsgren Studio).
Although most of the critics compare them with Shining – mainly because both bands are Norwegian and both band having a saxophone player -, Krokofant reminded me more of Fred Frith’s Massacre, of Massacre’s Morphine and other avant-garde/experimental bands of mid and late 80’s, beginning of the 90’s. It’s a vivid and energetic mixture of punk-jazz and avant-rock experimentalism. Colorful and surprising throughout, genuine and tasty. If you tired of monotonous, prefabricated, loop and midi based music, this is your ticket to exit!!
1. Polyfant (6:29)
2. Supermann (6:29)
3. Bodega (8:35)
4. Thispair (5:05)
5. Ejs (2:42)
6. Castaway (12:44)
Absolutely mandatory! Buy it or steal it. Or get yourself a free, signed vinyl!!
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