Album reviews of ”Svensk kultur”

… by now there must be millions of seventeen-year-olds with dreads that danced in sweat at one of Räfvens energetic shows, and that feeling is very well mediated with ”Svensk kultur”. Like a live performance on a piece of plastic, happy musical energy cascading over the listener. …when Räfven grabs the megaphone to make their one world point, it is important, bravely and very good.
(Dalarnas tidning, Oct 11, 2011)

…the songs on the album, all live recorded, are delivered with an intensity and a conviction that is rarely found. A sharper political statement could not be expected.
(Joyzine, Oct 17, 2011)

…Räfven blends so that new colors and flavors occurs, and gratifying enough the performance is as ebullient as the idea behind is grave.
(Smålandsposten, Oct 18, 2011)

…You can tell that Räfven knows what they are doing, it is professional with a lot of swing. This music is all about uniting people and should be experienced live, but ”Svensk kultur” is a very good alternative.
(Zero Magazine, Oct 19, 2011)

Show reviews

…the crowd is unreservedly in love and follows every lead from the band. They boil, bubble and pour of sweat. They jump, shout and dance. And honestly, the person who can resist eight half naked jumping jacks spreading this much energy, joy and love – that person is dead inside.
(Göteborgs-Posten, Sep 30, 2011)

…Räfven are the masters of variation. It is unpredictable and untamed, high and low is stretched between the musicians and it feels spontaneous and very alive. You can tell that they play because it makes them happy, and that very love touches the crowd and fills the whole room with vibration.
(Rockfoto, Sep 30, 2011)

…the orchestra Räfven from Gothenburg is energetic close to the border of insanity, and has always been a guaranty for euphoric shows with an outrageous intensity. And it is this wildness, this rampant staking, that makes the band so irresistible. Moments of total love between band and audience are rarely seen, but here it happens over and over again.
(Folkbladet, Oct 18, 2011)

…the members of Räfven are extremely competent musicians. They know how to interact with their audience and they know how to play their instruments. Just like Zlatan Ibrahimovic with his football, to make another Balkan reference. Good as hell, to be clear.
(Allehanda, Oct 14, 2011)

Grade: 5/5: Räfven Are Crazy Good

(Sundsvall, Sundsvalls Tidning, 2008-04-19)

Fools. It took a while to find the right description for the Gothenburg band Räfven. The only word that comes to mind after tonight’s concert is – fools. During the first five minutes they manage to spellbind the audience completely with its music, which to most of the crowd is previously unknown. The blend of Scandinavian and east European folk music, klezmer music and general Balkan madness is expressed with joy, but also with an underlying seriousness.

The fact that it’s crowded and hot on stage does not hamper the zest for playing. Despite doing hundreds of gigs each year, Räfven have not grown tired. They send out such joy that everyone is infected. Literally everyone. If you have the chance to see the eight-man band Räfven – at a wedding, in a pub, in a rock club or on a cold November street – take it. /Thomas Björling

Grade: 5/5: Smash Hit Gig at Sliperiet
(Örnsköldsvik,, 2008-04-21)

The previous bands may have been good, but they all fade as Räfven take over the stage. The gigantic mishmash of people, mustaches and sequin butterflies is enough in itself to make the band interesting – and along with their music it is an unbeatable combination.

Even trying to categorize Räfven’s music is impossible. It is a broad mix of Finnish tango, Russian folk music, klezmer music and a lot of other stuff. The show has an almost circus-like feeling to it, with a certain amount of insanity present all the time. You simply have to see it in order to understand it. When the gig is over they haven’t just played until their shirts come off – they have also created a rarely seen euphoria in the crowd. The success is indisputable. /Kajsa Nilsson

Grade: 5/5: Everybody Loves Räfven
(Urkult, Sundsvalls Tidning, 2008-08-03)

When Räfven play you dance. That is just the way it is. With a charmingly genuine zest for playing they outclass all the other acts at this festival. Balkan pop and klezmer music is delivered at a furious pace by ecstatic musicians who bounce up and down, hula hoop and lure old and young spectators into joining the spontaneous dance train that winds like a happy snake through the crowd.

Räfven’s success is a bit like a fairy tale. Last year they made a coup, performing as a mobile orchestra inside the festival area without asking for permission. Since this was highly appreciated, they were invited to play on stage at this year’s festival. Everybody seems to love Räfven. I do not usually applaud studentish dance crazes. But these charismatic, musical and completely wonderful boys steal my heart from the very first moment. I want the concert never to end. I want to dance like an seventeen-year-old all night. Räfven gives an encore if the audience promises to move to Gothenburg. Right then it feels like the natural thing to do. When is the next train? Brilliant. /Cecilia Frykberg

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