Freitag, 3. Februar 2012

Vital Weekly Kritik

A new and remarkable release by Christof Kurzmann. This one made me really wonder. Where the hell am I? The music is so strange or making feel strange and uneasy, that I found myself uncomfortable at moments. But all this within the limits of an engaging musical experience. Earlier work by Kurzmann has been released on his own Charhizma label, as well as Erstwhile, Potlatch, etc. His musical output shows that it is not only geographically difficult to situate him. Electropop, new music, improvisation are equally interesting for him. He lives mainly in Buenos Aires nowadays. This may explain why this new release is dedicated to Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik who died in 1972. The finishing piece ‘Ashes II’ contains an extended sample of her voice, reading – I suppose – one of her poems. As said, it is all together a cd of very strange music, although the music is not extraordinary demanding or far out. Not at all, I find it even a bit outdated on some moments. But often it is bizarre and full of unexpected combinations. And amidst of this we have the fragile voice of Kurzmann, who also plays alto sax, electronics and electric guitar. The rest of the crew: Ken Vandermark (tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, clarinet), Eva Reiter (viola da gamba, contrabass recorder, dan bao), Clayton Thomas (bass) and Martin Brandlmayr (drums, vibraphone). The opening piece has an intimate atmosphere. It is a captivating sound work where different textures are connected into one whole. Electronic-dominated sound patterns combined with improvised sax playing, and the voice of Kurzmann reading a poem. As in the other pieces the musicians demonstrate an interesting combination of electronics and acoustical instruments plus voice. The music shows many different faces often in one piece: ‘Para Janis Joplin’ starts from free improvisation, and continues halfway with a melodic theme that sounds very medieval. Kurzmann seems to be an expert in combining very different musical elements. Interesting stuff (DM).

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