Eberhard Kranemann / Harald Grosskopf — Krautwerk
(Bureau B BB271, 2017, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-09-13
Both Harald Grosskopf and Eberhard Kranemann have a long musical legacy dating back to the early days of Krautrock. Eberhard was one of the founding members of Kraftwerk, Neu!, and Pissoff, plus recording under the pseudonym Fritz Müller. Of course, Harald Grosskopf needs no introduction, starting out as the drummer with Wallenstein, Klaus Schulze, Ash Ra, and on to solo and other projects. However these two musicians never met until they were both performing at a festival in 2016. Sensing a kinship, they decided to collaborate, merging their cosmic sonic visions, and Krautwerk is the result. Krautwerk presents six different views of contemporary Krautrock. The disc opens with “Midnight in Düsseldorf Berlin,” a slow electronic melody with sporadic narration, and a steady, almost motorik beat. “Ou Tchi Gah” follows with fuzzed electronics and odd vocal noises that references Kraftwerk’s “Boing Boom Tschak.” “Texas Paris” is a relatively short piece with searing electronics that sounds like a JImi Hendrix guitar solo. “Happy Blue” has a metallic and mechanical sound with a repetitive rhythm sequence that morphs into a happy beat and eventually decays into random sounds as the track ends. “Buddhatal” is perhaps the best track on the disc. This is a dark, pulsating, floating, abstract soundscape with strange electronic animal sounds and squeaks. It is much like Werkbund’s 1987 release “Skaggerak.” The disc closes with “Be Cool,” featuring rapid electronic rhythmic loops, subliminal voices, and lots of variation to maintain your interest. Krautwerk is a wonderful merging of the Berlin and Düsseldorf schools of electronic music, as both musicians continue to be creative and push musical boundaries.
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
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