Posts Tagged ‘Prog’

Is it Jazz? Records have inked a deal with Norway’s SOLSTEIN, the latest project from multi-instrumentalist Jacob Holm-Lupo.  Inspired by jazz-rock, funk, prog rock and chill-out, SOLSTEIN, offers up an instrumental form of rock, where jazz harmony combines with proggy arrangements and soul/funk grooves.  The end result is a laid back, elegant, sound that oscillates between funky fusion and rock.

SOLSTEIN’s four- piece lineup have a  history that could be classed as illustrious.

On keyboards for SOLSTEIN is Brynjar Dambo, known for his work with WHITE WILLOW, PINE LAKE, DONNER, HAAKON ELLINGSEN

A published author of books on various artists including TOTO and BLUE ÖYSTER CULT,  Jacob Holm-Lupo himself, who will handle bass guitar, guitar and  keyboards, is known for his other projects WHITE WILLOW, THE OPIUM CARTEL and DONNER. He is also a much respected producer and audio engineer, working out of his Dude Ranch Studio, whose name is very well known to  fans of many of the bands on Is it Jazz? Records’ sister-label Karisma Records, with whom he has had a long collaboration. 

Guitarist Stian Larsen was educated at the Norwegian Academy of Music, where he specialised in Jazz. He has recorded with, amongst others, SMITH KOMMA JOHN, KÖÖK and PET ZOO, and played live with the likes of LÖV, DANIEL KVAMMEN and  BENDIK BAKSAAS, to name but a few.

Drummer Keith Carlock is a drum instructor who is a Grammy-winning recording artist and a Member of the Mississippi Musicians’ Hall of Fame.  STEELY DAN, DONALD FAGEN, WALTER BECKER, TOTO, JOHN MAYER and STING are amongst the myriad artists with whom he has recorded or played live.

The initial idea behind SOLSTEIN, which translated means “Sunstone,  was born from Jacob and Keith Carlock’s  2021 collaboration on “Hesitant Light”,  the debut album from DONNER, on which Keith’s playing pushed some of the material in a jazzier, funkier, direction that Jacob felt merited further exploration.

The band itself is named after a relatively rare rock whose main deposit is found along the coast in Southern Norway where Jacob lives on a small island. The Sunstone has copper-red crystals that refract light in a beautiful way when seen from different angles.

About their upcoming collaboration with Is it Jazz? Records, the band  had this to say:

SOLSTEIN are proud and pleased to sign with Is It Jazz? Records. We are looking forward to joining their artist roster and we feel their name reflects questions we often ask ourselves!

About their debut album, which will be titled “The Skerry” and which will be comprised of eight instrumental tracks, SOLSTEIN explained:

The making of our debut album has been a fun, light-hearted affair where zero fucks were given as to what the jazz police may have to say. Cheeky, 80’s-tinged fusion-soloing, pastel synths and a very open-minded interpretation of a Wayne Shorter classic are all par for the course. In fact there has only been one rule: No long solos. Keep it rock-length, not jazz-length.

More details about “The Skerry” will be revealed at a later date.

In the meantime, more  information about SOLSTEIN can be found on the band’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/solsteinband

Additional Information
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/solsteinband
Band Contact:  aslanlupo@gmail.com
Is it Jazz? Records
Website:  https://isitjazzrecords.no/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/IsItJazzRecords/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/isitjazzrecords/
Contact:  post@isitjazzrecords.no

Is It Jazz? Records, the scion of Norways Dark Essence and Karisma Records, will launch their first release on the 27th May when the self-titled debut album from Jazz Prog Rockers SOFT FFOG hits the streets.  But those curious to hear what the label has in store for them need wait no longer, because today “Chun Li”,  the opening track from the SOFT FFOG album, has been released as a single, which can be streamed or downloaded from various services at:

https://isitjazzrecords.fanlink.to/Soft-Ffog_Chun-Li

Being the first band on the label is, as you can imagine, something the Instrumental Quartet is  very much looking forward to, as the band explains:

SOFT FFOG are super stoked to be the first band signed to Is it Jazz? Records and we’re looking forward to rising into the cosmos together! So,about us. Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if JIMI HENDRIX joined DEEP PURPLE and aimed at sounding like GENTLE GIANT – but failing miserably in the attempt because too much jazz had been consumed lately? Probably not, but anyhow,  SOFT FFOG´s sound is unique, and draws parallels with the aforementioned acts somewhat in style, compositions and aesthetics, but is more rooted in jazz – with prolonged solos and improvisations.

And of course the time has now come, and we are happy to release the first single from our upcoming album.  The song is the opener on the album, and kicks off with a «The Who-esque» intro with a twisted indie rock melody, then progresses into a fuzzed out Gentle Giant-like riff. Guitar solo ahead! And then concludes with a bang!

SOFT FFOG’s genesis in 2016 was somewhat unusual in that it came about as a one-off gig commissioned by the Kongsberg Jazz Festival. Despite the success of this event, the band did not get the momentum it needed to be a proper working entity, and, combined with the busy schedules of the respective musicians, each with their other bands and projects, SOFT FFOG only played gigs every now and then. Playing live, did however,  help to define and refine the band’s  sound, so much so, infact, that founder  Tom Hasslan decided that  2020 was the right time for SOFT FFOG to record their first album.

The band consists of Tom Hasslan (KROKOFANT) who also wrote the album, on guitars, Axel Skalstad (KROKOFANT) on drums, Trond Frønes (RED KITE, GRAND GENERAL) on bass, and Vegard Lien Bjerkan (WIZRD) on keyboards.  It’s safe to say that individually the members of SOFT FFOG have probably played with everyone in the Norwegian Jazz scene, and now  they have a vehicle that allows them to do their own thing. By combining influences from KING CRIMSON with TERJE RYPDAL, DEEP PURPLE with PAT METHENY, SOFT FFOG have produced an album of blistering guitar solos, gnarly bass, crazy drums and supersonic keyboard playing!

Recorded at Studio Paradiso with Christian Engfelt engineering and producing, and mastered by  Herbrand Larsen, and with artwork by Tor Einar Evju and layout by Tom Korsvold,  track listing for the album is as follows:

1. Chun Li
2. Zangief
3. Ken
4. Dhalsim

“Soft Ffog” will be released in CD and LP formats and is now available to pre-order from

Bandcamp: https://softffog.bandcamp.com/album/soft-ffog
Webshop: https://isitjazzrecords.no/shop/

More information about SOFT FFOG can be found on the band’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Softffog

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Softffog
Booking: jazztom@hotmail.com
Website:  https://isitjazzrecords.no/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/IsItJazzRecords/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/isitjazzrecords/
Contact:  post@isitjazzrecords.no

With its release date set for the 8th April on Karisma Records, BJØRN RIIS’s fourth full-length solo album “Everything to Everyone” deals with the toll that continuously having to meet the expectations of others takes on ones emotions, heightened by the fear of losing oneself in the effort to do so.

This is poignantly illustrated in the track “The Siren”, which Karisma Records have today released as a single. 

As Bjørn explains:

 Musically the song derives its inspiration from the more mellow side of Roger Waters, Richard Hawley and Tim Bowness,  and is told from the perspective of someone observing a dancer.  Lyrically it depicts how one can be easily misled by temptation and hurt by the need for approval.

“The Siren” itself dates back to the “A Day at the Beach” recording sessions with AIRBAG. It was one of many demos that I presented to the band but which didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the material. 

Whilst writing “Everything to Everyone”, I redid most of the arrangements and lyrics and “The Siren” ended up being one of my favourite tracks on the album, and I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Simen Valldal Johannessen (OAK) for the beautiful piano, Henrik Fossum  (AIRBAG) for the delicate drumming,  and engineer Vegard Sleipnes for the mixing.

The single of “The Siren” can be streamed or downloaded from various services at https://link.karismarecords.no/Bjorn-Riis_The-Siren

At the same time, Anne-Marie Forker has produced a soulful video for “The Siren” which can be seen below and at https://youtu.be/2PqJXn0ozv0

For the album itself, which Bjørn admits was inspired by Dante’s Inferno, he has once again teamed up with long-time collaborator Vegard Kleftås Sleipnes, who, as well as co-producing the album with Bjørn, also handled the engineering and mixing. Mastering was carried out by Jacob Holm-Lupo (WHITE WILLOW and THE OPIUM CARTEL). 

In addition to Bjørn’s vocals and celebrated guitar playing, “Everything to Everyone” also features guest appearances from Henrik Bergan Fossum (AIRBAG), Kristian Hultgren (WOBBLER), Simen Valldal Johannessen (OAK) and Norwegian singer/songwriter MIMMI TAMBA. 

With cover photo by Anne-Marie Forker and design by Asle Tostrup, track listing on “Everything to Everyone” is as follows:

1. Run
2. Lay Me Down
3. The Siren
4. Every Second Every Hour
5. Descending
. Everything to Everyone
Digisleeve CD bonus tracks:
7. Everything to Everyone (Alternative version)
8. Desolate Place

“Everything to Everyone” will be available in four different versions. Aside from the normal LP version, the vinyl format will also be available as a Limited Edition White/Black Splatter LP, whilst the CD format will be available both as a standard CD as well as a Limited Edition Digi Sleeve version which will include two bonus tracks comprising an alternative version of the title track, and the 2020 stand-alone digital single “Desolate Place”.

It is now available to pre-order from:

Webshop: https://www.karismarecords.no/kar199-bjorn-riis-everything-to-everyone/  
Band Camp: https://bjornriis.bandcamp.com/album/everything-to-everyone
North American Webshop:  https://karismarecords.indiemerch.com/band/bjorn-riis

Now a much-respected guitarist within the musical community, Bjørn ‘s  interest in music began whilst still a teenager, at a time when guitar-led bands were at their height and were spearheading the  rise of the Progressive Rock movement.   It was this movement, together with Electronica and Movie Scores, that influenced the young guitarist,  leading  him to develop a style filled with soaring leads and gorgeous textures.  

Such is his knowledge of, the guitar, and all things related, that his YouTube channel, has become an extremely successful  destination for guitar fans.  The channel can be seen  at  https://www.youtube.com/c/BjornRiisMusic  

More information about BJØRN RIIS can be found on the guitarist’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BjornRiisArtistPage  and on his website at https://www.Bjørnriis.com/ 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Band contact:  Bjørn@airbag.no
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/BjørnRiisArtistPage
Website:  https://www.Bjørnriis.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Bjørnriis/
YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/c/BjornRiisMusic
Bandcamp: https://Bjørnriis.bandcamp.com
Promo and other information: post@karismarecords.no
Karisma Records: http://www.karismarecords.no/
Karisma Records Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karismarecords
Karisma Records on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/c/KarismarecordsNor
Karisma on SoundCloud:  https://soundcloud.com/karisma-records
Karisma Records on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karismarecords/
Karisma Records Webshop: http://karismarecords.bigcartel.com/
Karisma Records US Webshop:  https://karismarecords.indiemerch.com
Karisma Records BandCamp: http://karismarecords.bandcamp.com/music

Rockers WIZRD, a band who happily dip their collective toes into all kinds of genres, from Rock and Indie to Jazz and Prog, have joined the roster of Karisma Records, with the label planning to release the band’s debut album during the latter half of 2022. A collaboration about which WIZRD had this to say:

We are super stoked to be working with Karisma Records for our upcoming debut album! To be working alongside such a skilled group of people is both a great pleasure and an honour for us. Together, we will take this music to the stars… and beyond!

Formed at the Jazz Conservatory in Trondheim, WIZRD’s four-piece line-up of Hallvard Gaardløs  (SPIDERGAWD, DRAKEN and more) on bass and lead vocals, Karl Bjorå (MEGALODON COLLECTIVE and more) on guitar and vocals, Vegard Lien Bjerkan (SOFT FFOG and more) on keyboards and vocals, Axel Skalstad (KROKOFANT, SOFT FFOG and more) on drums, are all musicians who definitely know all the rules, but deliberately set out to break them.

Since 2020, WIZRD have been hard at work on their album which will be produced by Norwegian film score composer and JAGA JAZZIST drummer Martin Horntveth. Recorded at the Studio Paradiso in Oslo by Marcus Forsgren (BROR FORSGREN, JAGA JAZZIST) and Horntveth, the album was mixed by Bergen based musician and producer Matias Tellez (YOUNG DREAMS, GIRL IN RED). More information regarding the album will be released in due time.

More information about WIZRD can be found on the band’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WIZRDTHEBAND/

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/WIZRDTHEBAND/
Band Contact:  hallvardgaardlos@hotmail.com
Promo and other information: post@karismarecords.no
Karisma Records: http://www.karismarecords.no/
Karisma Records Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karismarecords
Karisma Records Bandcamp: https://karismarecords.bandcamp.com
Karisma Records on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/c/KarismarecordsNor
Karisma Records Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/karismarecords/
Karisma Records Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarismaRecords
Karisma on SoundCloud:  https://soundcloud.com/karisma-records
Karisma Records Webshop: http://karismarecords.bigcartel.com/
Karisma Records US Webshop:  https://karismarecords.indiemerch.com

Aside from being one of the founder members, lead guitarist, producer and main songwriter of one of Norway’s most successful  Prog bands AIRBAG, BJORN RIIS is also becoming a prolific solo artist, with his fourth full-length album set for release on Karisma Records on the 8th April.

Titled “Everything to Everyone”, the album contains six epic new tracks that deal with human emotions and the fear of losing oneself in the constant effort to meet every, often perceived, expectation, as Bjørn explains:

I was inspired by Dante’s Inferno when I started to write. A bit pretentious perhaps, but I’ve always been fascinated by that very personal journey and the search for some kind of piece or redemption, while being both mentored and hurt along the way. Musically, I wanted to take the listener on that journey, experiencing both hope and anxiety.

As a taste of what fans can expect from “Everything to Everyone”, Karisma Records have today released a single and video of the title track, about which Bjørn has this to say:

“Everything to Everyone” goes way back. Its one of those songs that never got finished but its always been in the back of my head. The lyrics are about losing yourself in the struggle to live up to expectations. Either ones own or those of others. I think we all can relate to that in one way or the other.

Im very happy with how it turned out! Its a dramatic piece and I’ve tried to allow the music to have a story in itself. Added to which are Mimmi Tambas amazing vocals, Simen Valldal Johannessens beautiful piano and Henrik Bergan Fossums powerful drumming.

The single “Everything to Everyone” can be downloaded or streamed from a variety of services at https://link.karismarecords.no/Bjorn-Riis_Everything-To-Everyone_Single

Whilst the video, by Anne-Marie Forker, can be seen below and at https://youtu.be/sYccgTvoR00

For “Everything to Everyone”, Bjørn has, once again, revisited his highly successful partnership with long-time collaborator Vegard Kleftås Sleipnes, who, as well as co-producing the album with Bjørn, also handled the engineering and mixing. Mastering was carried out by Jacob Holm-Lupo (WHITE WILLOW and THE OPIUM CARTEL). 

In addition to Bjørn’s vocals and celebrated guitar playing, “Everything to Everyone” also features guest appearances from Henrik Bergan Fossum (AIRBAG), Kristian Hultgren (WOBBLER), Simen Valldal Johannessen (OAK) and Norwegian singer/songwriter MIMMI TAMBA. 

Karisma Records plans to release “Everything to Everyone” in four different versions. Aside from the normal LP version, the vinyl format will also be available as a Limited Edition White/Black Splatter LP, whilst the CD format will be available both as a standard CD as well as a Limited Edition Digi Sleeve version which will include two bonus tracks comprising an alternative version of the title track, and the 2020 stand-alone digital single “Desolate Place”.

With cover photo by Anne-Marie Forker and design by Asle Tostrup, track listing on “Everything to Everyone” is as follows:

1. Run
2. Lay Me Down
3. The Siren
4. Every Second Every Hour
5. Descending
6. Everything to Everyone
Digisleeve CD bonus tracks:
7. Everything to Everyone (Alternative version)
8. Desolate Place

“Everything to Everyone” is now available to pre-order from:

Webshop: https://www.karismarecords.no/kar199-bjorn-riis-everything-to-everyone/ 
Band Camp: https://bjornriis.bandcamp.com/album/everything-to-everyone 
North American Webshop: https://karismarecords.indiemerch.com/band/bjorn-riis 

Now a much-respected guitarist within the musical community, Bjørn ‘s  interest in music began whilst still a teenager, at a time when guitar-led bands were at their height and were spearheading the  rise of the Progressive Rock movement.   It was this movement, together with Electronica and Movie Scores, that influenced the young guitarist,  leading  him to develop a style filled with soaring leads and gorgeous textures.  

Such is his knowledge of, the guitar, and all things related, that his YouTube channel “gilmourish RIIS”, has become an extremely successful  destination guitar fans.  The channel can be seen  at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWcIN_-togBBmlCYsuuy6Pg

More information about BJØRN RIIS can be found on the guitarist’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BjornRiisArtistPage  and on his website at https://www.bjornriis.com/ 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Band contact:  bjorn@airbag.no
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/BjornRiisArtistPage
Website:  https://www.bjornriis.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bjornriis/
YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWcIN_-togBBmlCYsuuy6Pg
Bandcamp: https://bjornriis.bandcamp.com
Promo and other information: post@karismarecords.no
Karisma Records: http://www.karismarecords.no/
Karisma Records Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karismarecords
Karisma Records on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/c/KarismarecordsNor
Karisma on SoundCloud:  https://soundcloud.com/karisma-records
Karisma Records on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karismarecords/
Karisma Records Webshop: http://karismarecords.bigcartel.com/
Karisma Records US Webshop:  https://karismarecords.indiemerch.com
Karisma Records BandCamp: http://karismarecords.bandcamp.com/music

With just under two weeks left before the debut full-length from Prog Rockers KOSMODOME is set to hit the streets, Karisma Records  has today released the third, and final, single to be taken from the self-titled album of a band that fans are quickly discovering are prime exponents of energetic, catchy and soulful alternative rock.

The new single, titled “Deadbeat” could almost a described as a paean to those men who are at best described by modern society as “drifters”, and at worst, “losers”, as the band explains:

Throughout their whole adult lives these men have been made to feel like failures because they have not lived up to the expectations of having their lives in order.  Whilst their peers seem to have their own self-realization and independent lives under control, the self-destructive behaviour of these “drifters” causes them to stumble along in the dark.  Eventually they end up on the outer edges of society where life can be too chaotic to handle, making them increasingly vulnerable and helpless.

“Deadbeat” can be streamed or downloaded from various services at:

https://link.karismarecords.no/Kosmodome_Deadbeat

Originally formed by brothers Sturle (guitars and vocals) and Severin Sandvik (drums), KOSMODOME recently added Magnus Magnussen on bass and Erlend Nord on guitar in order to bring the band’s riff-based Rock sound, with its distinctive Stoner elements and progressive nuances, to a live audience.  

But it is the clever writing by the two brothers that singles out the band, and their debut album “Kosmodome”,  as being able to bridge the gap between creating music that has an explosive drive, whilst, at the same time, still being able to sound melodic. 

The intention behind the album, is, as the band explains to:

Draw listeners into the “Kosmodome”, in all its diversity. Throughout the album, we dwell in the melodic and the groovy; a baseline for deep dives into massive, heavy soundscapes and spacey atmospheres. Instrumental sections are central to our musical storytelling, further supported by our lyrical themes; introspection and wonder, ruminations on the human condition, and frustrations toward contemporary society.

With artwork by Mirkow Gastow, track listing for “Kosmodome” is as follows: 

  1. Enter the Dome
  2. Retrograde
  3. Hypersonic
  4. Deadbeat
  5. Waver I
  6. Waver II
  7. The 1 %
  8. Orbit

“Kosmodome”, will be available on the 10th December in, CD Digital and Limited Edition Green and Black marbled vinyl and is now available to pre order from:

Webshop: https://www.karismarecords.no/kar223-kosmodome-kosmodome/
Bandcamp: https://kosmodome.bandcamp.com
US. Webshop: https://karismarecords.indiemerch.com/ 

More  information about KOSMODOME can be found on the band’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Kosmodome

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Kosmodome
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kosmodome/
Band Contact:  elrutss@gmail.com
YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMOKQ_uFZWEm–P15YzHSFQ
Promo and other information: post@karismarecords.no
Karisma Records: http://www.karismarecords.no/
Karisma Records Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karismarecords
Karisma Records Bandcamp: https://karismarecords.bandcamp.com
Karisma Records on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/c/KarismarecordsNor
Karisma Records Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/karismarecords/
Karisma Records Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarismaRecords
Karisma on SoundCloud:  https://soundcloud.com/karisma-records
Karisma Records Webshop: http://karismarecords.bigcartel.com/
Karisma Records US Webshop:  https://karismarecords.indiemerch.com

Whether by accident or design, Norway’s Karisma Records has gained quite a reputation for itself amongst Prog fans  for its ability to source, and release, long-unavailable, and much sought-after,  classic works from highly respected bands such as RUPHUS and ARABS IN ASPIC, to name but two.

Or, as WOBBLER, the label’s latest subject for a foray into back catalogues, would attest:

It’s fantastic for both a band and its fans to be given a chance to revisit (and for some to visit for the first time)  albums that have been sold out and basically impossible to get for years now (unless you are lucky enough to find copies on the internet and are prepared to pay hundreds of dollars). 

Formed in Hønefoss in 1999, WOBBLER’s current  lineup features Lars Fredrik Frøislie on keyboards and backing vocals, Martin Nordrum Kneppen on drums, percussion and recorder, Kristian Karl Hultgren on bass, Andreas Wettergreen Strømman Prestmo on vocals, guitar  and percussion, and Marius Bergom Halleland on lead guitar and backing vocals.

Having released  the band’s fourth and fifth albums, Karisma Records, will be releasing WOBBLER’s first three albums on the 28th January 2022 and they will be available either as individual releases in both CD and Limited Edition Vinyl formats, as well as a three-album, limited edition box set. 

The three albums in question are:

“Hinterland”,  WOBBLER’s 2005 debut full-length ” served to bring the band to the attention of Prog scene, and, virtually overnight,  garnered them a sizeable international audience thanks to its authentic sound and complex and beautiful song writing.  The Limited edition vinyl will be available in yellow vinyl with red & white marbling, and tracklisting for “Hinterland” is as follows:

1. Serenade for 1652
2. Hinterland
3. Rubato Industry
4. Clair Obscur


The band’s second album “Afterglow” came with a more “retro” feel, not surprisingly so, given that it was a full-band re-recording of WOBBLER’s early demo.  A strong black metal influence can be heard both in the surprising power and aggression of some sections, as well as the structure and tonality of many of the riffs. Paradoxically, “Afterglow” was also a more dyed-in-the-wool proggy prog rock album, with its epic-length compositions and detours into renaissance and baroque music.  With the limited edition available in transparent vinyl with blue & black marbling, tracklisting for “Afterglow” is as follows:

1. The Haywain
2. Imperial Winter White
3. Interlude
4. In Taberna
5. Armoury


Which brings us to 2011’s “Rites at Dawn”, the third of the re-releases.  This was the album that saw WOBBLER up their game considerably, both musically and sonically, with the arrival of Andreas W. S. Prestmo on vocals.  It was his skills as a songwriter and lyricist that would raise the band to a whole new level where vocal melodies, lyrics, arrangements and performances came together in a cohesive whole.

“Rites at Dawn” reflected Andreas’ preoccupations with nature and spirituality in words and music that took on a luminous, mystical nature. It was also an album where Lars’ production skills came to the fore, with a mix that was crystal clear, showcasing each individual musician’s newfound maturity. Martin’s drums had never sounded better, and the intricacies and grooves of his playing were perfectly married to Kristian’s Rickenbacker, that wove its way between Lars and Morten’s labyrinthine chords and leads in a remarkably melodic, yet inventive way.

The limited edition of “Rites at Dawn” will be available in transparent yellow vinyl with blue & black marbling.  Tracklisting is as follows:

1. Lucid
2. Lá Bealtaine
3. In Orbit
4. This Past Presence
5. A Faerie’s Play
6. The River
7. Lucid Dreams

The box set will be a limited edition, one-time pressing,  and will include exclusive coloured vinyl versions of all three albums, along with a slip mat and an illustrated booklet.

All versions are now available to pre-order from:

Webshop:  https://www.karismarecords.no/kar208-kar209-kar210-wobbler/
Bandcamp: https://wobbler.bandcamp.com
US Webshop: https://karismarecords.indiemerch.com

WOBBLER had this to say about the upcoming re-releases:

These albums are what we refer to as “the Morten years”, since Morten Andreas Eriksen was our guitarist on these first three albums, and a very important part of what we were about. “Hinterland” and “Afterglow” also features Tony Johannessen on vocals, making the third album, “Rites at Dawn”, a sort of a transition album between the old Wobbler and the new Wobbler, as it features Andreas on vocals. Musically, these albums are quite diverse. They show different aspects of Wobbler; being the roots of what eventually became “From Silence To Somewhere” and “Dwellers of The Deep”.

More information about WOBBLER can be found on the band’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/wobblerofficial  or on their website at www.wobblerofficial.com/

A video, filmed and edited by Mike Drop, for the track  “Five Rooms” from WOBBLERS 2020 album “Dwellers of the Deep” can be seen at https://youtu.be/bpOQp9gCfQA

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wobblerofficial
Website: www.wobblerofficial.com/
Bandcamp: https://wobbler.bandcamp.com 
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/wobblerofficial/
Band contact:  skogstierne@gmail.com / mellotronlars@yahoo.no  
Promo and other information: post@karismarecords.no
Karisma Records contact: post@karismarecords.no 
Karisma Records: http://www.karismarecords.no/
Karisma Records Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karismarecords
Karisma Records Bandcamp: https://karismarecords.bandcamp.com
Karisma Records on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/c/KarismarecordsNor
Karisma Records Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarismaRecords
Karisma on SoundCloud:  https://soundcloud.com/karisma-records
Karisma Records Webshop: http://karismarecords.bigcartel.com/
Karisma Records US Webshop: https://karismarecords.indiemerch.com

When Karisma Records released AIRBAG’s fifth full-length album “A Day at the Beach” in June 2020, neither band nor label, or indeed the fans themselves, realised that the Pandemic would soon rage throughout the world, putting paid to any plans bands may have had to play live in front of an audience.

Eager to showcase their songs and show fans that they had not been abandoned by the band, AIRBAG came up with the idea of not just recording an acoustic set, but also of filming the recording process itself, which resulted in the band  entering  the Subsonic Society Studio in Oslo to set the process in motion.

As AIRBAG explained:

2020 had been a difficult year for us all. With our new album, “A Day at the Beach”, released in June of that year we had planned to tour and play live for all our fans and friends but it was not to be. Still, we wanted to do something special that would keep us connected to our fans and also to say thanks for everyone’s support in these trying times. Doing this acoustic session allowed us to revisit songs from the new album and a few old ones as well. A new challenge for sure but a fun and inspiring experience. 

Having successfully streamed a portion of the studio set last Autumn, the full acoustic album, appropriately titled “A Day in the Studio” is now ready to hit the streets in December of this year.  As well as the three tracks from “A Day at the Beach”, the new album will feature two classic tracks, “Colours” and “Sounds That I Hear” from AIRBAG’s 2009 album “Identity”, plus  a previously unreleased track “Come on In”.

Both the CD and Vinyl versions come with a DVD of the original streamed session which shows AIRBAG in an intimate setting, away from the usual festival stages, which is where fans are most used to seeing them.

As to the decision to make “A Day in the Studio” an acoustic album, AIRBAG had this to say:

Most of our songs start out on an acoustic guitar and it’s always been about the melodies that go into making a great song. Since we never got to tour our latest album, “A Day at the Beach”  due to the pandemic, going  back into the studio with just acoustic guitars gave us the chance to revisit those songs.

We really didn’t intend for it to be more than a lockdown session, which everyone was doing at the time, but it sounded really good, with slightly different arrangements and all three of us singing. So we ended up with two sessions and digging deep into our catalogue to find songs that fit really well with the new stuff. 

Mixed by Vegard Kleftås Sleipnes and filmed by Eirik Stordrange, tracklisting for “A Day in the Studio” is as follows: 

  1. Machines and Men (A Day at the Beach)
  2. Sunsets (A Day at the Beach)
  3. Into the Unknown (A Day at the Beach)
  4. Come on In (previously unreleased)
  5. Colours (Identity – cd/vinyl only)
  6. Sounds That I Hear (Identity – cd/vinyl only)

“A Day in the Studio” will be released on Karisma Records on the 3rd of December,  is now available to pre-order from:

Webshop: https://www.karismarecords.no/kar217-airbag-a-day-in-the-studio-unplugged-in-oslo/
Bandcamp: https://airbagsound.bandcamp.com
US Webshop:  https://karismarecords.indiemerch.com

Adept at blending diverse musical styles and sounds with a strong narrative listening experience, AIRBAG has been  hailed as one of the most important bands to emerge from the Norwegian prog scene over the past decades. Formed  in the mid 2000’s with a lineup that comprised five high school class mates, two of whom,  Asle Tostrup on vocals and Bjørn Riis on guitars, have been joined by  Henrik Bergan Fossum on drums and form today’s incarnation of AIRBAG as a trio.  

More  information about AIRBAG can be found on the band’s website at http://www.airbagsound.com/  or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/airbagsound

The original streamed version of “A Day in the Studio” can be seen below and at https://youtu.be/el-pY9U8TYQ

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Website: www.airbagsound.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/airbagsound
YouTube: www.youtube.com/airbagsound
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/airbagsound/
Airbag Booking: bjorn@airbag.no  
Promo and other information: post@karismarecords.no
Karisma Records contact: post@karismarecords.no 
Karisma Records: http://www.karismarecords.no/
Karisma Records Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karismarecords
Karisma Records Bandcamp: https://karismarecords.bandcamp.com
Karisma Records on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/c/KarismarecordsNor
Karisma Records Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarismaRecords
Karisma on SoundCloud:  https://soundcloud.com/karisma-records
Karisma Records Webshop: http://karismarecords.bigcartel.com/
Karisma Records US Webshop:  https://karismarecords.indiemerch.com

White Willow 2011

Karisma Records have inked a deal with WHITE WILLOW founder Jacob Holm-Lupo for the release of six out of the seven studio albums from the Norwegian Prog legends whose long history started around 1992 when  guitarist Jacob Holm-Lupo, who at that time was a member of the POLICE/BRUCE HORNSBY-inspired pop band THE ORCHID GARDEN, and keyboard player Jan Tariq Rahman from a local jazz-rock/prog rock band DUGGVÅTE DVERGER, got together to assess if they had any songwriting chemistry.  The result was the song “Snowfall”, written whilst sitting on the floor playing acoustic guitar and clavinet, and the rest, as they say, is history.

White Willow 1994

WHITE WILLOW’s debut full-length “Ignis Fatuus” was released in 1995 to glowing revues and became a runaway hit on the burgeoning prog revival scene.  Just how much of a hit it was came as a complete surprise to the band, who, unaware of the album’s success,  showed up later that year at the Los Angeles’ Progfest ’95 for their second ever live performance, only to find themselves in front of an audience that numbered in the thousands who had come specifically to see them.

From thereon, the band formed part of the spearhead of what was to subsequently become known as the Third Wave of progressive rock, along with other Scandinavian bands like ÄNGLAGÅRD (whose drummer would later join WHITE WILLOW), LANDBERK and ANEKDOTEN.  The band went on to earn the accolade as “one of the most significant progressive groups of the current era” in Billboard’s “Guide to Progressive Music”.

White Willow 2004

The history of WHITE WILLOW’s lineup is somewhat complicated by the comings and goings of its various members over the years, so suffice it to say that only Holm-Lupo has been with the band since its inception, whilst WOBBLERS Lars Fredrik Frøislie has been a mainstay since 2001. 

Whilst inevitably changing over time, WHITE WILLOW’s sound  is frequently centered around female vocals  and an expanded instrumentation that usually includes a host of analogue synthesizers, mellotron, woodwinds and strings, in addition, of course to traditional rock instrumentation.

White Willow 2006

Citing influences that range from the likes of prog stalwarts GENESIS and KING CRIMSON to pop legends ABBA, WHITE WILLOW has, in turn, been quoted as an inspiration by bands ranging from doom Metallers CATHEDRAl and Norway’s ENSLAVED to German neo-proggers FREQUENCY DRIFT whose name is actually taken from a White Willow lyric.

White Willow 2017

WHITE WILLOW has now become a studio project exclusively, helmed by Holm-Lupo and often featuring guest appearances from prominent musicians such as  Norway’s guitar hero Hedvig Mollestad, or internationally renowned klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer. The band’s latest album to date is 2017’s “Future Hopes” (which is not scheduled for re-release), and which featured a specially commissioned album cover by Roger Dean.

The prospect of seeing WHITE WILLOW’s past hard work being once again brought to the attention of its old fans, and the idea that new fans will be able to discover for themselves the significant contribution the band has made to the Prog scene over the years is something that Holm-Lupo is relishing:

White Willow are extremely proud to be working with the talented people at Karisma, and looking forward to bring these albums out to the fans.

One of the challenges we’ve had with White Willow is that a lot of material has been lost in the mists of time. Our recording sessions in the early days were not particularly organized, and we worked in various studios over extended, and often interrupted, periods of time.


Hence the previous attempts at remastering have used secondary and tertiary source material, to varying results. This time we have done the deep forensic work and have recovered original, pristine master tapes for most of the material. It’s been time-consuming, but it will definitely be worth it.

Well versed in the difficulties, and joys, that can come when bringing back to life back catalogues and long-unavailable releases from  legendary Prog names, Karisma Records were more than up for the challenge. Having worked extensively with Holm-Lupo in his capacity as mastering engineer the label  knows what he is capable of, and had this to say :

Jacob Holm-Lupo, who is these days a renowned mastering engineer with his Dude Ranch Studio, is doing the restoring and remastering with audiophile, analog equipment to ensure the most faithful and detailed restoration possible. We are also aiming to restore the original artwork of the albums wherever possible.

No date has yet been set for the release of the WHITE WILLOW back catalogue, but Karisma Records have confirmed that the following six albums will be included:

Ignis Fatuus – 1995

Ex Tenebris – 1998

Sacrament – 2000

Storm Season – 2004

Signal to Noise – 2006

Terminal Twilight – 2011

More information about WHITE WILLOW can be found at https://www.facebook.com/whitewillowband/

A video for the track “Kansas Regrets” from WHITE WILLOW’s 2011 album “Terminal Twilight” can be seen below and at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpoK4YUKYu0&ab_channel=BlankTV

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/whitewillowband/
Holm-Lupo Lydproduksjon:   www.duderanchstudio.com
Karisma Records contact: post@karismarecords.no 
Karisma Records: http://www.karismarecords.no/
Karisma Records Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karismarecords
Karisma Records Bandcamp: https://karismarecords.bandcamp.com
Karisma Records on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/c/KarismarecordsNor
Karisma Records Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarismaRecords
Karisma on SoundCloud:  https://soundcloud.com/karisma-records
Karisma Records Webshop: http://karismarecords.bigcartel.com/
Karisma Records US Webshop: https://karismarecords.indiemerch.com

KOSMODOME, another rising star in the firmament of Norway’s flourishing Prog Music scene, has found its way into Karisma Records capacious arms, with the label preparing to release the band’s debut full-length album later this year.

The brainchild of the two Sandvik brothers,  Sturle on guitars and vocals, and Severin on drums, KOSMODOME’s music is riff-based Rock with Stoner elements all of which are placed within a progressive universe to great effect.  Together, the duo have an explosive drive, where the melodic can often be found hand in hand with the hard and the heavy.  

Having self- released an EP via streaming in 2019, KOSMODOME add a bassist and guitarist to their live performances, appearing on stage as a four-piece, and they are, understandably, excited to be working with Karisma Records for their first full-length release, as the band explains:

We feel very humble and honoured to have signed with Karisma Records alongside all their great and inspiring bands. This already feels like the start of a fun and lasting relationship, and we look forward to showing people what Kosmodome is all about!

Details of KOSMODOME’s upcoming album will be released in due course, but in the meantime, fans can get a taste of the band by listening to them on Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/artist/4UIRcnv34nNU710MmhlqDK?si=XT122EAGRYe2vACpP6hhzQ

Or on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMOKQ_uFZWEm–P15YzHSFQ

More  information about KOSMODOME can be found on the band’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Kosmodome

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Kosmodome
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kosmodome/
Band Contact:  elrutss@gmail.com
YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMOKQ_uFZWEm–P15YzHSFQ
Promo and other information: post@karismarecords.no
Karisma Records: http://www.karismarecords.no/
Karisma Records Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karismarecords
Karisma Records Bandcamp: https://karismarecords.bandcamp.com
Karisma Records on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/c/KarismarecordsNor
Karisma Records Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/karismarecords/
Karisma Records Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarismaRecords
Karisma on SoundCloud:  https://soundcloud.com/karisma-records
Karisma Records Webshop: http://karismarecords.bigcartel.com/
Karisma Records US Webshop:  http://karismarecords.aisamerch.com/