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Krokofant: Krokofant II

A welcome blast of Scandi jazz prog.

Krokofant’s second album confirms that, if you want to find the true successors to the pioneering spirit that animated 1970s jazz and progressive music, Scandinavia’s the place to be.

Perhaps it’s because the young Nordic jazzers don’t have the insecurities of their European counterparts, who’ve been drip-fed anti-prog rhetoric. Rather than finding prog or jazz rock fusion something to feel awkward or ashamed about, Tom Hasslan (guitars), Axel Skalstad (drums) and Jørgen Mathisen (saxophone) never got that memo. Instead, they enthusiastically grab at incendiary elements of King Crimson, Back Door and VdGG with which to flavour their own potent brew. And, like their eponymous 2014 debut, galloping vitality surges through every second of this album. Amid explosive squalls, blood-curdling metal-edged shredding, guttural excursions and steamroller riffs, the trio maintain their cool, exercising a sure-handed degree of control over the stormy forces they unleash. To witness such mastery in a group so young, as they hyper-jump from such unalloyed abandonment into detailed, tessellating themes and intricate ensemble readings, is truly something to celebrate.