MAKAJODAMA is the side project of Swedish guitar player Mattias Ankarbrandth, who used to play in Swedish Prog Rock band GOSTA BERLINGS SAGA. Mr. Ankarbrandth then found himself his band of merry men (and one woman) and then decide to write and jam out a bunch of music.
Well, the one thing I can tell you about the music is that it’s completely instrumental, but to trying to describe this accurately would be like trying to explain the concepts of quantum physics using interpretive dance. What the hell, I’ll try anyway.
The band opts to use the Psychadelic moments of early PINK FLOYD and mix it up with some of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA’s great groove and counterpoint melodic playing and toss it into a Folk/Nu-Folk context that has been heavily influenced by Classical music and Jazz, all the while maintaining this cunning atmosphere that KING CRIMSON has at times, and the songs often go through various movements that are in a state of perpetual change and….okay, Christ, this just sounds like nonsense.
The best I can do is say that the band sounds a LOT like the Prog Rock giants of the 70s (well, other than RUSH), but without sounding like a copycat of any of the bands, and there is this experimental approach to the songwriting where nothing stays the same, and everything builds to a gigantic crescendo while still taking time to explore (but not fully dive into) other territories. It’s strange, weird yet awfully familiar, and the interaction between the various instruments is just beautiful. The musicians alternate between their roles as the lead, the harmonic, the counterpoint and the rhythm instruments, and they all play around and with each other. It’s done in a way that is so seamless that you know it must have been meticulously written and every detail was looked over a thousand times, but there is also this feeling that everything done was completely spontaneous and everything was jammed out, like the musicians are just messing around and having fun.
Speaking of which…the best thing about this is that, despite the crazy melodic lines and fun harmonies and experimental nature of the song structures, the mood is EXTREMELY laid back. Like, “It’s summer and I want to sit all day in a hammock sipping beer, with the sun beating down on my face and not caring about anything” laid back.
I know the words “Instrumental Music” are kryptonite to some people, but MAKAJODAMA is just amazing stuff that deserves to be checked out by everyone.
(Online February 20, 2010)