Tummel is a 7-piece band based in Malmö, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark. “Tummel” is, in Yiddish, the sound that arises from a totally unrestrained party. And it was in klezmer music that the band found it's original starting point. During the years, however, the band's influences has come to include all sorts of styles from Eastern Europe as well as rock, disco etc, and an increasing number of the band's songs have been originial compositions, ending up in the 2009 cd "Payback Time", where all tunes were made by the band members. A new release entitled "klip klop" taking the band further in this direction is scheduled for november 2013.
Right from the start in 1997 they won the hearts of both folk and rock audiences, and has since attracted a growing number of fans across Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Finland, the UK, Italy, Switzerland, Slovenia and Estonia. Due to their reputation as a great live band, Swedish Television choose them for the show "Concert of the week" with a full hour of televised Tummel Live. They have also appeared live on Estonian Television and Danish National Radio on several occasions, not to mention local stations in Siberia, Texas, Turkey, Greece, Germany etc. etc. They have toured with Iraqi-Israeli oud and violin player Yair Dalal, and also cooperated with Bulgarian kaval virtuoso Lyuben Dosev and Maccedonian clarinet virtouso Blagoj Lamnjov.
What makes Tummel special is their ability to adapt to whatever kind of scene or stage they are thrown upon. Although all band members are strong instrumentalists, what really makes the crowd go wild on a Tummel concert is their extraordinary capability as a live band. The Tumlers spare no effort to give the audience a once in a lifetime experience, leaving the audience gasping for breath with sweat flowing from their armpits. As a reflection of the history this music has floated through, the music involves elements of both extreme pleasure and extreme pain. But in Tummel´s case, the pleasure and joy is the first and foremost ingredient.
Tummel has played every kind of venue from small bars to big rock festival stages, and people seem to get a kick where ever they set foot. Besides normal concerts, Tummel often also does school concerts and workshops.
Live videos of the band are available at
Edin Bahtijaragic - Accordeon
Jens Friis-Hansen - Vocals, Percussion
Jonatan Aisen - Drums
Andreas rudenå - Violin
Jonatan Ahlbom - Tuba
Tobias Allvin - Guitar
Pär Moberg - Saxophone
"Payback Time", 2009 (first one with vocals)
"Push", instrumental cd recorded in 2008, as yet unreleased.
"Klip Klop", to be released in november 2013
Live tracks and more are available from www.tummel.nu
Review of Payback Time by Robert M Tilendis
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“Think about the band playing on while the Titanic goes down. Think of some of Joel Gray's bitchier ...“Think about the band playing on while the Titanic goes down. Think of some of Joel Gray's bitchier numbers in Cabaret. Think of Josephine Baker at her most outrageous taking Paris by storm. Think of a bunch of crazy Swedes with no inhibitions whatsoever getting together and letting everyone have it, right between the eyes. That might give an inkling of the tone of Tummel's Payback Time.
It seems that most readers are willing to give a book thirty to fifty pages to grab them, and most listeners will allow a track or two for a CD to do the same. By the time I was eight bars into "This Ship Is Sinking," the first cut on Payback Time, I was, as they say, ROFLMAO. It's somewhere between tango and klezmer, but it could be straight out of some Paris bistro ca. 1927, and it's no holds barred. Jens Friis-Hansen's vocals are right on the edge, a position they maintain pretty much throughout what follows, and the instrumentalists keep right up there with him. (Friis-Hansen is also responsible for most of the lyrics and a good portion of the music, and I might add that he reveals himself as a very talented and versatile singer.)
I don't know why this disc gives me such an overwhelming sense of the 1920s, but it does. It might be Edin Bahtijaragic's accordion in combination with Moberg's saxophone under those hysterical vocals. It does periodically break into an entirely different feel, from world beat to good ol' fashioned rock 'n' roll -- Andreas Rudenå's violin seems able to make the transition to any mode, as does Jonatan Aisen's drumming, and Jonatan Ahlbom on helicon and the multifaceted Tobias Allvin (guitars, saw, and moog) are right there, too -- but the overwhelming sense is of "make merry while we may."
And then you start listening to the lyrics (the disc is mostly in English, with "Weiß Trash" and "Razer Tod" in a bastard English/German hybrid). It's dark. It's really dark. "Cyanide," for example, presents us with a lively dance tune supporting some really bitter lyrics. The refrain starts "'cause I've put cyanide in your coffee/And powdered arsenic on your toffee . . ." and goes on from there. Get the idea? It's honky-tonk that bites.
There's a strong element of surreality in this collection, as well. "Kiss Me If You Can" makes three or four different kinds of sense, depending on your mood. The final cut, "Give Me You," is just that -- those are the lyrics, for three-and-a-half minutes, and it's marvelous. It becomes a touching and earnest love song -- except that I can't quite shake the feeling that Friis-Hansen is laughing at me.
I'm looking back at my attempts to describe this album -- that's what I do here, after all, try to translate music into words -- and they all somehow miss the mark. You have to listen to this one to get an idea of what it's about, and it's going to take more than one listening. Brace yourself.”
Review of Payback Time in Estonia
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on their fourth album, this Swedish band, who has performed in Estonia as well, is playing power eth...on their fourth album, this Swedish band, who has performed in Estonia as well, is playing power ethno music as Ukrainian Haydamaky, French Les Négresses Vertes, Moldovian Zdob Si Zdub, Belgian Jaune Toujours or America's Gogol Bordello. With Tummel´s "punk" attitude, but highly professionally performed (as we are used in Scandinavia). Own compositions are influenced by balkan and klezmer music, and you can as well sense an atmosphere of gypsy and americana music. But that's not all - "Bhangri La" uses, as the topic even says, bhangra and the grotesque "Weiss Trash" is a pure disco.
It's nice to listen to the cd, but on a concert it must be irresistible.
(4 of 5)
Sydsvenskan, Sweden, April 09
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”Jens Friis-Hansen […] sings theatrical, loud, pushing. – and well. His theatrical voice reaches hig...”Jens Friis-Hansen […] sings theatrical, loud, pushing. – and well. His theatrical voice reaches high as a church spire, and in exposed positions, it reminds one of Robert Plant. […] A plus for humor, funny English lyrics and oringinality all the way through.
Wild party sounds between major and minor
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Tummel […] has not one, but seven Tummlers, who with contagious enthusiasm and rare energy blows t...
Tummel […] has not one, but seven Tummlers, who with contagious enthusiasm and rare energy blows the roof of the many different stages they appear on. […] In Tummel’s first first song, the tuba of Øivind Slaatto and the baritone sax of Pär Moberg create a euphonious concrete wall, beautifully framed by accordeon and bozouki. Upon that wall, Annika Jessen and Andreas Rudenå hang their duelling clarinet and violin, while Jonatan Aisen turns up the temperature with boiling drum playing.
[…] While changing betweeen major and minor in a furious tempo, and creating beautiful harmony out of chaos, they are still always totally present. […] Although this is seven very skilled musicians and soloists, Annika Jessen deserves a special mention. Her extatic clarinet solos, combined with spontaneous and easy talk between the songs, shows her great stage personality.”
Live in Malmo 2003
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This is really an unusual and delightful band, which might look slovenly with their punkish jump-aro...This is really an unusual and delightful band, which might look slovenly with their punkish jump-around attitude, but which puts things in their place with virtous exactness. Tummel leaves room for most things between rough Stones guitar, raw wind instrument solos, languishing accordeon and intimate, whispering melodies. And they deliver entertainment, energy and high class instrument treatment in a way which is as personal as it is inviting.”
Global Rhytm Magazine, USA, dec-04
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“Tummel is a stout sextet of Swedish musicians who excel in playing modern Klezmer/Balkan/Oriental m...“Tummel is a stout sextet of Swedish musicians who excel in playing modern Klezmer/Balkan/Oriental music… and more. […] The group possesses a keen musical sensibility, […] All but three of the 13 Transit songs were penned by group members, which demonstrate the band’s first class songwriting as well and orchestration talents. From the explosive opening track, "Single Hair Replacement" by guitarist Tobias Allvin to the brooding, "Est Schmerz in Hanoi" by woodwind player Pär Moberg, to the group’s arrangement of "Tsiganovs Hands", with its Middle Eastern rhythms, the entire album serves as testament to this talented band’s multiform musicality. Especially considering this is only Tummel’s second album, the band has already amassed a maturity – not to mention being a hothouse of creativity – that is noteworthy. Highly recommended -- no, make that mandatory -- for any fan of the modern Klezmer or Balkan genres.
A music party that inspired
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"No matter what musical taste you have, it's hard not to like Tummel. Most pictures of the ..."No matter what musical taste you have, it's hard not to like Tummel. Most pictures of the band becomes blurry, as the band members constantly bounce around on stage. You just can't miss the joy the band feels about being on stage and performing their music. Neither the audience can sit still, but becom enchanced, and start dancing around."
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[…]The power of Tummel lies in their ability to create solidly funky grooves, which are carried by t...[…]The power of Tummel lies in their ability to create solidly funky grooves, which are carried by the baritone saxophone and a well played drumkit. The tuba playing of Øivind Slaatto is also creative, and goes far beyond what you normally expect to hear from a tuba in this genre. […] Tummel is, to my well-worn ears, one of the more exciting names on the Nordic Klezmer scene right now. “
Rootsworld.com, USA, 2004
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"Tummel wants to make sure you have fun. Open their second CD, Transit, and out falls a little envel..."Tummel wants to make sure you have fun. Open their second CD, Transit, and out falls a little envelope full of stickers to decorate the cover with. That's just the beginning of the good times. On this follow-up to 2001's Oy!, the Swedish/Danish Klezmer/Balkan/Asian band rocks out a bit more. Producer Jens Lindgård, [...] makes sure that the edge is sharp and the flavor is tart. Lots of thrashy guitar, wailing clarinet, and a tuba that stomps on your toes make this one of the most aggressive klezmer albums ever.
If Brave Combo, the Ramones, Drums & Tuba, and the Klezmatics committed some twisted act of group whoopee, Tummel would be their demon spawn. This is acid klezmer at its most ferocious. Just take a track like "Jeri-Ko-Round." The drums and horns set up a menacing, march-like ostinato while Tobias Allvin's guitar gently screams. The brash, swingy "Calman Jacoby" rolls on like a Mardi Gras party, then breaks into a jaunty little tap dancing break courtesy of guest hoofer Carolina Heiskanen. "Tabasco Stomp" has a guitar riff that could have come straight from Cream or Deep Purple. "Pravo Horo" careens between a rhythmically ambiguous Balkan dance tune and a bouzouki-driven jig. "Noch Einmal-Tomatimahl" could be just any old freylach until the centrifugal force just gets too strong, flinging it off in all directions. Hot, heady stuff.
FolkWorld, Germany, 2005
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This cd is so full of energy, that is's impossible not to smile and dance along. Still the album has...This cd is so full of energy, that is's impossible not to smile and dance along. Still the album has also some moments to breath like the beautiful A nach in Den Haag. The group is grown in the right direction. Although I loved their first cd oy this Transit is over the whole line of better quality and a more adult cd. The, mostly original, compositions work really well. The arrangements are sometimes surprising me and again the electric guitar that they kick in from time to time really work for me. (Did like that of the first cd as well.) What you get are thrilling clarinet, squeezing accordion which sounds a bit dark from time to time, steaming percussion all mixed into a continuing story of exciting music. The cd doesn't sound like thirteen separate songs but the group managed to make Transit sound like one piece of music. Like a journey through the Balkan and the Middle-east, they overload me with impressions. With this cd Tummel shows that they are one of Scandinavia's best kept secrets and it's about time that they get the attention they deserve. I recommend this cd for 100%, this is exactly the way I love it!
A typical Tummel gig is 60 min, and can be both "dance 'til you drop" and more listener-oriented material depending on the circumstances. Almost all tunes are own compositions, occasionally mixed with a few traditionals. For more dance oriented events, we sometimes play 2 x 45 min.