In the seventies there was a lot of enormously good prog, but several of the releases were actually discovered by very few. Very few people caught these two releases, even though it was fantastic music. The band Fantasy came out with the album Paint A Picture in 1973, and Cathedral came out with Stained Glass Stories in 1978. Deservedly enough, both albums were reissued many years later and reached a large audience. Some others albums were rediscovered many years later! Deserved enough for this was supremely good music, and the band Atlas is in examples of this!
The 1979 album Blå Vardag by Atlas is in every way indispensable when looking at the progressive music history of Sweden. Their sole debut album is combining the almost Zamla -esque playfulness on tracks such as På Gata with intricate, mellow melodies on e.g. Blå Vardag and Den Vita Tranans Väg while infusing heavy organs, carefully refined guitar riffs and fantastic synthesized sound scapes.
If you have any interest in instrumental 70’s prog (and even the RIO scene), you’re in for a real treat – this album is not to be overlooked!
1. Elisabiten 7:12
2. På Gata 14:09
3. Blå Vardag 6:56
4. Gånglåt 2:52
5. Den Vita Tranans Väg 7:18
6. Björnstorp 6:17
7. Hemifrån 7:50
8. Sebastian 4:31
A piece of Swedish prog history was made at Progressive Circus 2016 when this Malmö based instrumental quintet made their first live appearance in 35 years and reunited to perform songs from their (so far) only album Blå Vardag (1979) that is considered a true gem by many vinyl collectors.
Their instrumental, lighthearted and melodic symphonic prog/fusion/jazz à la Camel,
Genesis and Kaipa (and many more of the 70’s) deserves to reach a wider audience.
After their break-up in 1980 Atals took a short pause from activity until 1995 when they recorded Hemifrån – a bonus track for the CD release of Blå Vardag. Then another short pause for 20 years until the performances at PC16 and at the GORGG on the island of Ven 2016.
Atlas has since then stayed together rehearsing new material and recomposing old tunes. They have recently begun recording again.
Björn Ekbom and Erik Björn Nielsen provide a main component of Atalas’ material, with vintage sounds of pianos, organs, mini-Moogs, clavinets, Rhodes’ and mellotrons, interplaying with Janne Perssons guitar, and backed by Ulf Hedlund on bass and Michael Pinotti on drums.