Arbeit / Schickert / Schneider (ASS) — ASS
(Bureau B BB221, 2016, CD / LP/ DL)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-05-30
The first thing you notice about this album is the delicate crystalline structure of the cover art and then the molecular diagram of aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid. Then there are the track titles “37°,” “38°,” “39°,” “40°,” “41°,” “Acetyl,” “Salicyl,” and “Säure.” Tracks “37°” to “41°” are parts of one long piece that slowly heats up. I can only guess at the meaning. I did find the 37° C is the temperature at which you can dissolve aspirin in water. And 41° C (105.8° F) is the maximum temperature of the human body that can be treated with aspirin. And the final three track titles together are the chemical name of aspirin. Now, I am only guessing, but it appears that the “Acetyl” is by Arbeit, “Salycil” by Schickert, and “Säure” by Schneider. ASS is the collaboration of these three generations of renowned Berlin guitarists: Günter Schickert (born in 1949), Jochen Arbeit (born in 1961), and Dirk Dresselhaus AKA Schneider TM (born in 1970). This musical project blends Schickert’s Krautrock stylings with Arbeit’s punk rock and Dada (Einstürzende Neubaten) and Dresselhaus’ indie / house rock viewpoints to create something new. The combined 22 minutes of the temperature tracks slowly build from abstract sounds, drones, noise, and electronics to include reverbed and reversed sounds, noise bursts, metallic bells, and ultimately sequenced guitar loops to end with a Krautrock flourish. “Acetyl” has a hypnotic vibraphone loop and an improvised trumpet that intertwines with the rhythm and eventually turns melodic. “Salycil” has a strong beat, electronics, and a cool Krautrock vibe. And the closer “Säure,” with its abstract drones, reverberating chords, and high frequency electronics, can be quite harsh on the ears towards the end. Quite an interesting release perfect for the adventuresome listener.
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more