Tom Hayes 21-April-2001 Lotus

An obscure group from 1974, Sweden's Lotus is a very fine instrumental quintet featuring two guitarists, organ, piano, bass and drums. Their debut album is everything that makes Nordic progressive music special. There's a unique charm contained within the melodies that are distinctly Swedish and recall bands such as Trettioariga Kriget, Kebnekaise, Autumn Breeze and Kultivator. With ten tracks ranging from two to four minutes, one would not expect a whole lot of invention. Yet Lotus manage to do just that. Each track is chock full of ideas/changes and beautiful melodies that stay with the listener long after the music has stopped. The closest comparison would be an instrumental Camel circa Mirage, though with an ethnic meets cocktail lounge mix. The emphasis is, not surprisingly, on the dual guitar work (and plenty of effects such as fuzz, wah, jazz tone), though I find the organ playing to be top notch as well. Overall, Lotus is a relatively light and stress free affair. Perfect for sunny days in the convertible. Smile.

Unfortunately no official CD has been pressed so the original LP, which is quite expensive, is about the only legal option of hearing this treasure. The album would be perfect for a label like Musea.

As of this writing, I have yet to hear their second release from 1976 entitled Vera O'Flera though word on the street says it's more jazz oriented.

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