KRAKATAU and RAOUL BJÖRKENHEIM
last updated 21 November, 2000

KRAKATAU.jpg (88563 bytes)

3/5 of Krakatau at Bar Mary in Porvoo, May 1995
(from left: Björkenheim, Kätkä, Krokfors)
© Tapani Taka, 1995

KRAKATAU is/was(?) one of the truly great improvisational or "jazz" bands of our country (=Finland) and the world. The band has everything you could hope for: talent, imagination and Energy. Perhaps the fact that Björkeheim's Marshall amplifier had lost the "hall" part gives some indication of where the group was heading... And of course the name in itself has symbolic meaning -   Krakatau is a volcano on the Indonesian island of, surprisingly, Krakatau. The eruption of 1883 was the loudest and biggest our earth has experienced and the island was almost destroyed - only about half of the original island remains.

The first time I saw Krakatau was at Bar Mary in May 1995. It was a revelation to me how great music can be in this country. The stuff we're usually fed is unfortunately another story.

In 1995 Krakatau was: Raoul Björkenheim: guitar & percussion, Jone Takamäki, saxophones, flute & percussion, Uffe Krokfors, bass & percussion, Affe Forsman, drums & percussion and Ippe Kätkä,  drums & percussion.

Krakatau played one of its last gigs (for the time being at least) at Bar Mary on Nov. 14th, 1999 as a trio with Uffe Krokfors, bass & Affe Forsman, drums & tamboura and, of course, Raoul on a huge number of stringed instruments. It was the second time I saw the group The set was great as usual - short and to the point. The music is still not easy to categorize, so it could simply be called great improvised music, though it hgas elements of jazz, ethnic music, avant garde and rock.

There are four albums by Krakatau: Ritual, Alive, Volition and Matinale. All are available on CD, and the covers are pictured below.

THE ALBUMS