Influenced by the Rock in Opposition and Canterbury scenes, Oslo, Norway-based avant-prog band Panzerpappa were initiated by drummer/percussionist/multi-instrumentalist Trond Gjellum, who discovered a like-minded collaborator in saxophonist/keyboardist Steinar Børve and joined with Børve to form a quartet, also including guitarist Knut Tore Abrahamsen and bassist Jørgen Skjulstad, in 1998.
The group played some live concerts and in 1999 issued a CD-R entitled Passer Gullfisk, but a series of lineup changes would begin early in the new millennium -- a period that also saw the release of a second CD-R, Hulemysteriet -- and by 2002 Gjellum was the only remaining original member of the group.
That year Gjellum played in a live band backing former Caravan/Hatfield and the North member Richard Sinclair in Norway, and the group also featured bassist Anders Krabberød and guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Jarle Storløkken. Krabberød and Storløkken then joined a new Panzerpappa lineup along with Gjellum and Børve, the latter of whom had traveled to Australia and rejoined the band upon his return to Norway. The quartet of Gjellum, Børve, Krabberød, and Storløkken released Panzerpappa's first non-CD-R album, Farlig Vandring, in 2004, garnering a favorable reaction from avant-leaning portions of the progressive music community in Norway and elsewhere.
In 2006 Panzerpappa issued Koralrevens Klagesang, their most ambitious (and widely available) album to date, featuring the quartet heard on Farlig Vandring joined by a bevy of guests on a wide array of instrumentation and including a classic Caravan-esque vocal from Sinclair on one track. Panzerpappa gained even wider notice with the release of Astromalist on the Rune Grammofon label in 2012; in addition to the band's core quartet, the album featured appearances by keyboardist Hans-Petter Alfredsen (who subsequently joined the group as a permanent member), Jaga Jazzist flutist Ketil Vestrum Einarsen, Univers Zero bassoonist Michel Berckmans, vibraphonist Ola Lindh, and on strings, Eivind Hasle Amundsen (violin), Hannah Bartram (viola), and Thomas Nilsson (cello). ~ Dave Lynch, Rovi