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Archimedes Badkar

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This large ensemble might be seen as a Swedish equivalent of the German group Embryo, as both were pioneers in the fusion of jazz-rock and ethnic music from all over the world. The music of Archimedes Badkar was lively and playful, often inspired by African music from both North and South of the Sahara desert. All four albums are in a similar vein, but most people regard their double second album as their best effort. Half of it was pre-planned, the rest based on improvisations done in the studio at night! Most tracks are very long and indicative of hippies on an Eastern trip. Bado Kidogo (1979) was a collaboration with the group Afro 70 from Tanzania. Bengt Berger and Kjell Westling had previously played with Arbete Och Fritid.

Yet another weird and wonderful Swedish progressive band, Archimedes Badkar is perhaps closer to instrumental jazz-rock than their contemporaries and predecessors Samla Mammas Manna, Älgarnas Trädgård, Arbete och Fritid, Flåsket Brinner, et. al. Most of the music on Badrock … is tightly arranged and very compositional. In fact, it starts off sounding like Samla Mammas Manna interpreting material from Frank Zappa’s Burnt Weeny Sandwich - the first three tracks demonstrate that the band can play jazzy instrumental music with a healthy dose of whimsy, lots of odd time signatures and sudden changes in direction. The longest track on Side 1, “Wago Gozeze” is quite different. This is a trancelike, minimalistic piece with bubbling guitars, hand percussion and two soprano saxophones duetting over top. Unfortunately, the hand percussion is replaced by rather clumsy kit drumming about half-way through.

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from the album Tre

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