April Records keep putting out great albums. Add NORD HAVN to the top of that list.

April Records

Emil de Waal – Drums, Percussion, Vocals; Nicholas Knudsen – Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Guitar Synth; Jens “Rumpistol” Berents Christiansen – Synth, Rhodes, 303, Electronics; Anders Stig Moller – Electric Bass, Electric Fretless Bass, Synth, Electronics

Kalaha is a weird band. I say that with respect, and, a smile on my face. Their press release says they’re a mix of Brazilian samba, Anatolian rock, African highlife, desert blues and contemporary western electronic music.

I think I hear all of that but I also hear the Ventures, and, was that Hawaiian music? It’s like the band threw all these different music genres into a cuisinart and out popped Kalaha.

Drummer Emil de Wall said Kalaha was formed in 2013 at Strom, an electronic music festival in Copenhagen. The original idea of two electronic and two jazz musicians improvising together morphed into a band bent on exploring all kinds of different genres.

It sounds like there’s a low flying plane coming out of the speakers on ‘Ciklide Kaj.’ Swirling electronics, tentative drums and Jens Berents Christiansen’s Rhodes and synthesizer are there but Nicholas Knudsen’s electric guitar is what takes center stage. It’s a psychedelic take on sixties surf rock with a dash of Link Wray for good measure.

All the songs on NORD HAVN start out quietly. It could be a musical warning; “you might be surprised at what you hear.”

‘Norsk Fars ’could be a wordless sing-along song for kids. Drums are high in the mix. Emil de Waal’s persistent stick patterns are a delight. There’s a lot of electronic gurgles and beeps. Anders Stig Moller on electric bass has a big fat beautiful sound.

Knudsen’s guitar is on top of a disco beat with some fifties science fiction soundtrack playing in the background. I mentioned disco. Yeah, you can dance to just about everything on NORD HAVN. I would love to see this band live.

‘Bolvaerksmatrosens Blues ’is epic. It’s symphonic. And it has a touch of country twang. This would have been a wonderful theme song for the Western television show, Bonanza. I can hear Emil de Waal’s brushes on his snare imitating Hoss Cartwright’s horse hooves.

Anders Stig Moller wrote ’Sara Banderole ’and it’s the prettiest song on the album. It’s bass and guitar. There’s a lot of electronic pinging at first but that shifts to a most alluring sounding melody.

’Tunnelfabrik ’has a very danceable funk groove going on. The baselines are deep and resonant. Drums are driving hard. The keyboard sounds like Jan Hammer. The guitar and all the electronics make for a very heady mix.

April Records keep putting out great albums. Add NORD HAVN to the top of that list.