The story of
T O M B O L A
 

After the successful (in terms of darXtar)  release of Daybreak, things really started to happen for the band. Their first gig abroad became a fact at Crohinga Well magazine’s ”Earth Ritual” festival in Belgium 1994. Since they had a long way to travel they invited a friend called Sputnic to come along and do a bit of driving. As it turned out, he was a lousy driver, and most of the time he was too drunk to drive anyway… but he did come up with something interesting; He said he’d had a dream about a bunch of space freaks on future earth that took off on a journey through time and space to try to save their mother planet (presumably after hearing Daybreak). He had written the storyline down...

(PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE STORYLINE FOR TOMBOLA) Tombola 1997

The picture shows in the background a slightly altered version of the wonderful original sleeve (drawn by Sputnic, who else?) that had to be scrapped as it looked terrible in CD format. In front the band, as it looked during the 1997 Stockholm Progressive Rock festival, the same line up as on Tombola.

...and was now putting the last touches to 10 + lyrics for a concept album! K.Soren and Patric thought it sounded crazy, but it was well worth an investigation when they arrived home. Six months later the longest fax they’d ever seen came thru, and less than a fortnight later at least 8 of the lyrics had music written to them – it just naturally flowed out of their minds. As one can understand, they didn’t want to look back, but they were now already in the process of arranging the ”Sju” cd-single and when that became a full length project, Tombola had to take a step back for a while. ”Sju” was however hastily finished and by November 1996 and April 1997 they went to Studio Underground in Västerås to cut the 13 bass and drum tracks. The rest was to be recorded at their own Studio Terra, now fully computerized. This time the plan was to make a space rock/psychedelic album that was not following the Hawkwind route that they had alredy left in the process of ”Sju”, underlined by the arrival of Marcus on bass. As usual a lot of effects were used, even more than ever, actually. But this time they were carefully applied to selected parts of the production, rather than the ”full throttle all along” attitude used up until Daybreak. Next attitude to go out of the window was the ”3-takes-or-skip-it” idea. As it was, the democratic attitude of the band had it that every idea by anyone in the band should be tested, crazy or not. That made the recording work extremely tiresome and time consuming as all musicians love to have their say on all matters. It became a near impossible task to track by track decide what’s to stay and what’s not, add to this the continous flow of input from all members to “enhance this” or “shove that”... Again tensions started to build up between some of the guys. Still, by late 1998 it was ready to be mastered and as they all felt they had created something special, a deal with a good record company should not be an obstacle – boy, were they wrong!! Something like two and a half years later Record Heaven records (for whom they had played the Stockholm Prog Festival back in 1997) showed some mercy and decided to have a go at it. This delay and lack of interrest was of course demoralising for the band after all the hard work and love they had put into the project, and they were very nearly calling it a day at around 1999. K.Soren, Patric and Marcus hid under the alias of ”Johansson” for a year and a half, trying to find some meaning of it all, doing all sorts of weird material with hopelessness, anxiety and simplicity being the only common factors. This eventually evolved into what would become ”We came too late”, but that is a completely different story! When Tombola finally was released, the line up from the album resurrected, but it was only to be for a short while. Björn Jacobson left to take care of his own business shortly after and Sören Mårtensson was asked to leave a few months later. They had exceeded their own expectations and nearly burned themselves out, and was again met by total ignorance from the industry, then why bother? The die had been cast and they continued on the ”Johansson” path with ”simplicity” being the code word. And simplicity means that there’s no way you can go on with a 6-piece band working under total democracy – now down to three ”core” members, the real work on ”We came too late” took off. While it was a tormenting process to make Tombola happen, they feel that the comments below justify all their efforts:

Selected review snippets:

“…a sound that is both unique and highly recognisable. I urge all fans of the genre to check this out immediately, if not sooner.”
Kev Rowland, Feedback Fanzine #71 2002, UK

“…fascinating and intelligent. Darxtar is a name that lovers of psychedelia and rock should keep in mind.”
Babylonmagazine.net, Italy

“…it's practically obvious that DarXtar is currently the best Space Rock band on Earth.”
Progressor.net, Uzbekistan

“…really good… the whole package is interesting, to say the least. Rating: 4/5”
progressiveworld.net, USA

“…this album should be a success…great music.”
Proglands.com, Canada

“Check this out…4/6”
Monster Magazine, Scandinavia

“Probably their best CD…full of fantasy and creativity, a first class freaky space rock-cocktail. Recommended!”
Black Rills Records, Switzerland

“A pleasant surprise…”
iO Pages, Netherlands

“…competent and ambitious…a really good album.”
Sweden Rock Magazine

“…listen in one sweep from the beginning to the end. You will not regret it...”
Eventyr-records.it, Wonderoustories.it, Italy

“This is a beautiful disc”
Arlequin, Italy