Mattias Olsson, drummer/percussionist extraordinaire formerly in Änglagård, is a busy man. He runs his own studio in Stockholm, called Roth Händle Studios, he collaborates musically with lots of people, he lends his talents to other progressive rock outfits such as Norway’s finest – White Willow and he kicks off projects in many directions.
One of the newest projects of his is Walrus – a band which in a tongue-in-cheek manner is described like this on its Facebook-page.
Kraut Rock / Progressive Rock Group from Stockholm, Sweden. Instigators and prime movers of that immensly popular style, Polar Kraut. Two drummers, one bass player, one cello player, one keyboard player, and one chord – what more do you need?
September, 2010 A.DThe scene:A dark bar at the End of the World, on the shores of the Polar Sea, in the Far North of Norway. The result of some highly spirited, wine induced bragging, five strangers find themselves sharing a stage under the assumed name WALRUS. The lights go on, and there, on the spot, they have to make up some music that can live up to the brazen boasts that got them on stage.The cast:An Organ Player who can turn from lyrical to mechanical in a moment, from shimmering to abrasive, from the dead calm of the ocean to the death rattle of an orca. A remarkable Cello Player with angelic features, who seems to be having a loud on-stage argument with his instrument, always teetering on the brink of a sonic fist-fight. A Bass Player who plays in an almost geometrically meditative fashion, angular, repetitive and hypnotic, and whose fuzzed out sounds could turn iron into rust. And then there’s the two-headed beast: Two manic Drummers playing the same, sprawling double drum kit, but attacking it from different sides and angles.The sound:While early German Electronic Kraut Rock seems to be in the band’s collective DNA, that’s just a small part of it. The roots of their music may be firmly planted in age old Psychedelic and Progressive Rock, but their branches reach well into the future – to a new kind of Post-Rock perhaps. And theirs is a sound that changes constantly. Going from pastoral and emotional to jugular aggression in mere seconds, the band ebbs and flows, back and forth, creating spectacular atmospheres and moods. Building tension and tearing it down, telling stories and painting pictures. There is nothing quite like it.The denouement:
Well, shaking their heads in disbelief after the show, they quickly decided that this group, albeit still half imaginary, was too good not to be true. And in tribute to the remote part of the world where their band and their music had been born, they named their particular brand of music ‘Polar Kraut.’
Some time later they reconvened in one of Stockholm’s oldest and finest active recording studios to capture the music they had been improvising on their first few concerts, using equipment from the Golden Age of Recording on both sides of the glass. And after months of meticulous editing, Bitches Brew-style, four stately compositions had been thawed out of the ice (as it were) and were ready to be let out into the World South Of The Arctic Circle.
Renowned film music composer and piano player Matti Bye on Hammond & Farfisa Organs, Mellotron and Wurlitzer Piano. The Tiny and Gul 3 member Leo Svensson on Cello and Minimoog. Producer and composer Kristian Holmgren on Electric Bass and Fuzz Bass. Mattias Olsson of Änglagård on drums, with Henrik Olsson of Gul 3 and Harr joining him at their double drum kit, The Sprawl.
The studio mentioned is the legendary Atlantis studio which really is a survivor in the music biz providing real old-school recording facilities.
Mattias is a funny guy regularly posting somewhat crazy YouTube-snippets from ongoing recording projects (right now Necromonkey) from his own Roth Händle studios. Matti Bye who is also in Walrus is a renowned Swedish composer of film scores. He’s a fine pianist with great improvisational skills! The film Maria Larssons eviga ögonblick which he wrote the score for was an Academy Award nominee 2008.
For listening and buying Bandcamp is a great place to go!