Brockmann / Bargmann — Licht
(Bureau B BB269, 2017, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-10-10
On viewing for the first time the minimal artistic cover for Licht, I was expecting academic or avant garde experimental music. Instead I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Licht continues Timm Brockmann’s and Franz Bargmann’s Krautrock explorations that began in Berlin as the Krautrock guerilla band Camera. In 2013 Bargmann left Camera to join La Düsseldorf’s drummer Hans Lampe as Michael Rother’s live back up band, and Brockmann left in 2014 to focus on solo work. Then a bit later Bargmann (guitars) and Brockmann (keyboards) decided to record Licht to explore different sounds through improvisation on analog synthesizers, pianos, guitars, and a drum computer. In the studio they rearranged pre-recorded music, layered vertically or side-by-side with their in-studio improvs. Some of the twelve tracks are sequencer-driven with repeated phrases. Others are abstract ambient explorations. It isn’t until we get to track four “Horizont” that we begin to notice the Krautrock influence of Michael Rother. “Sylvester” and “Spektrum” take them even further into Neu! and Harmonia territory. “Muezzin” is a bit different as it is purely rhythm wth a Muslim call to worship drifting in and out. But then they continue to explore other directions as well, such as the 10-minute “Schatten” built on tribal drums and guitar drones, the beautiful ambient “Meer,” the fuzzed and gated sounds of “Puls,” and the quiet piano and guitar closer “Hyper.” There is not a dull moment on this disc and Licht is sure to please any Krautrock lover.
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more