the fact is that without him this band would probably not exist..."
K.Sören Bengsston <
is the founder and mastermind of the swedish space-rock / prog. band
darXtar - which is going strong for more than
7 years now.
founded in 1989 as a one-man-aginst-all-odds-project by KSB, darXtar's
line-up consists of 6 space-rockers altogether:
Vocals, Reeds, Perc.
Though the current darXtar sound shows much
more influences of a "progressive" kind - their latest release Sju
reminded me of some Eloy or Floyd-ish periods - the bands musical roots
and initial inspiration derives vastly from Hawkwind's
and Calvert's works:
been a true Hawkfan since the early daze of the 1970's and saying I'm
influenced by this band is a vast understatement -
I have them in my veins.
Hearing Calvert reading the poems
on the Space Ritual
album with his deadpan voice can still send shivers up my spine.
This man could write lyrics
he could read poems,
he could thrill
with his stories, he could
sing, he could compose,
he could affect and he could
throw a joke - was he real?!
Do guys like this really exist in the real world or was he a figment
of our imagination?"
soon found out more about the man and the band - and not long after,
he set out for his own mucical activities.
Here's a brief
record of the band's activities since its founding in 1989.
a short History
is formed as a one-man project by K.Sören Bengtsson
(KSB) in an attempt to fuse early 1970's style acid-rock psychedelia
with his own songwriting and guitarplaying techniques.
Heavily influenced by the success of UK one-man band The
Bevis Frond he decides to work alone on simple homestudio gear to
avoid commercial limitations. Sends a demotape to UK underground label
Acid Tapes who immediately asks for material for a full length album
Midway through this recording, KSB is joined by Juba
Nurmenniemi (bass, vocals, keyboards) and they complete what
is to become the first eponymous darXtar release.
darXtar - s/t is released in January. KSB
and JN begin the recording of second album. A demo ("High Tide") ends
up on the compilation cassette Isotopic Moments.
German label SPM/wwr decides to release their first album on CD.
SPM/wwr refuse to release the new album: "Too experimental!" To be prepared
for live appearances they decide to bring in Patric
Danielsson (PD) and auditions a variety of keyboardists.
Second album Darker is finally released as
CD on the Swedish Garageland label who also ask them for a contribution
to a forthcoming compilation CD. Fredric Sundqvist
(FS) is "forced" into the band prior to the recording of UFO
for the compilation, and soon after this Sören
Mârtensson (SM) joins to complete the line-up. Less than
a month later the band makes a somewhat unrehearsed live debut, sharing
the bill with experimental/space/doom band The
UFO is released on the "Let your freak flag
fly" compilation CD. The band starts the recording of Daybreak,
their first album with a full line-up. It is still mainly home recorded
by KSB and this time he decides to release the CD himself on the new
SBm sweden label. This album finally gives the band a kick in the right
direction and gigs in Europe follow. FS decides to take a break while
JN is sacked in December. He is replaced by young Marcus
Pehrsson (MP) who proves to be the vitamin injection the band
The sound is now leaning more towards the progressive side of rock music
and they start working on a mini-CD project. At the same time artist
friend Sputnic comes up with the idea and story for a sci-fi concept
album and the band approves. They continue to work on both projects
until Black Widow records wants them to release a follow up to Daybreak
on their label. They add two new songs to the mini-CD and call it SJU.
Just after the recording is finished, FS rejoins the band and a few
weeks later old friend Björn Jacobson is invited too.
By autumn they hear rumours about ex. Hawkwind
legend Nik Turner
who is supposed to play a one-off gig in Sweden. darXtar
offer their services as rhythm band and under the guise of HawXtar
(aided by Kenneth Magnusson from The
Moor on Mellotron) they revive the old Space
Ritual wall of sound space-rock and musically the gig is a great
SJU is released on both LP and CD. This is
considered by the band as an "in-between projects" album and is originally
released in 1000 CD and 500 LP copies only.
Their new more progressive style is however greeted with great enthusiasm
all over the world and the CD is re-released on SBm sweden in May.
An edited version of "7" from the album is released on a Norwegian compilation
CD and they are also asked by Cleopatra records, USA for a contribution
to a forthcoming 3-CD space/krautrock compilation.
Meanwhile the band
continues to work on the concept album and by the time you read this
they may well have gone into the studio to start recording it. With
it's 13 songs, expanded line-up and fantastic lyrics, this may well
become the ultimate progressive spacerock album, at least if you're
into the unique sound of darXtar....
the most recent news and Calvert connections...:
A few weeks ago,
darXtar played a Prog-Rock festival in Stockholm
and performed a song called Position Unknown
- based on a short piece of prose, that Robert Calvert
wrote for the extensive Hawklog booklet, that
2nd album In Search of
on : darXtar