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.
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more