Born in Los Angeles in 1956, guitarist Raoul Björkenheim moved back and forth between Finland and the U.S. for 25 years. After graduating from the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Mass., Björkenheim moved to Helsinki, Finland and integrated his interest in ethnic and electronic musics into his work with various bands.
Björkenheim formed Krakatau as an offshoot of Edward Vesala's Sound & Fury band, with whom he was then performing. Krakatau recorded its first LP, Ritual, in 1988. Björkenheim's guitar was colored by feedback and distortion, coupled with dual horns influenced by Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler and a rhythm section anchored by two drummers.
For the next album, Alive, Björkenheim pared the group to a trio, giving the recording more of a rock feel.
The first two LPs were released only in Finland, but Krakatau's next two albums, Volition and Matinale, were recorded for the German ECM label and distributed worldwide.
Ritual was released on CD by Cuneiform in 1996 with 15 minutes of bonus material. ~ Jim Dorsch, Rovi