I’d never heard of Kultivator. In fact, I didn’t read the bio before listening to “Barndomens Stigar” (which is standard practice for me since I don’t like to be influenced at all) and I just assumed they were a new band with a classic style. It turns out that this album was released in 1981! It sounds more like a new band sounding like a band from 1971.
The music on this album is quite good with some great playing. If you love vintage keyboards, they are EVERYWHERE! Kultivator sound like a mix of Van der Graaf Generator, Gentle Giant, Manfred Mann and a touch of the Cantebury sound. There’s a TON of music on this double album, all of which is astounding. So what’s the problem?
Ah the vocals. Once again, great music and vocals that I am not crazy about. Specifically there are wordless vocals that mimic the guitar line which, for me, sounds like cheesy jazz. I’ve never liked that, never will. There are also other vocals that are strange and in Swedish which aren’t very strong. Had this album been all instrumental, I’d call it “essential.” Still, regardless of the vocals, it’s at times nothing short of amazing.
To get an idea of how great the album is and then how not so great it is, just listen to the 2 opening tracks. “Höga Hästar” is a blistering opener with some amazing parts. “Vemod” is the first introduction to the weird vocals. “Grottekvarnen” is a good example of how the wordless vocals drove me crazy while listening to this album.
The last 4 tracks are part of an EP called “Waiting Paths” released in 2008. The vocals are in English which I suppose is a plus. Sadly, I still do not like the vocals. Musically, the band sound very much like they did in 1982 which is great. The folky, Cantebury vibe is more present on these songs.
This album is definitely recommended for prog fans who like the bands I’ve mentioned. Of course, check out the release first. You might not be as adverse to the vocals as I am. Kultivator are/were a talented band who deserve to be recognized.
This is the first vinyl re-issue since 1981 of this sought after disc, with 3 bonus tracks (1 studio, 2 live). It also includes the four 4 studio recordings from 2008, originally released on the EP “Waiting Paths.” So this is truly a definitive reissue. It’s available on black vinyl and bronze vinyl. The release date is May 30th. A CD edition will be available soon but I don’t have a date for that!
Barndomens Stigar (“Paths of the Childhood”)
1. Höga Hästar
4. Kära Jord
5. Barndomens Stigar
Recorded and mixed in Studio avo, Linköping, Sweden, during July – October 1980.
The original vinyl album “Barndomens stigar” on Bauta Records BAR 8101
Recorded in The Forest by Lach´n, 1-2 August 1992.
10. Tunnelbanan medley
Recorded live at Grottan, Linköping by Anton le Clercq, 9 June 1979
11. Novarest (Live)
Recorded live at Konsertsalen Folkets Hus, Motala, 29 March 1980.
1. In the Darkness Plate
2. Bringing Water
3. Another Day in Life
4. Waiting Paths
a. before (S. Carlsson and Å. Strandberg)
b. presence (J. Linge and I. Rylander)
c. and further on (S. Carlsson)
Label: Transubstans Records