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Eskalation — Advances: Different Music for Bassoon, Wind Synthesizer and Sampled Percussion Vol. 2
(Bandcamp no#, 2020, DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2022-01-25

Advances: Different Music for Bassoon, Wind Synthesizer and Sampled Percussion Vol. 2 Cover art

Some readers might remember a fascinating album that came out in 2001 called Different Music for Bassoon, Wind Synthesizer and Sampled Percussion, which I reviewed in print issue #24. It was billed as Eskalation, basically the work of Stephan Köhr, a woodwind player and electronic musician who devised a unique variety of electro-acoustic music that came off as a blend of RIO and electronics. Nearly twenty years later, Köhr is back with his second installment of Different Music, titled Advances! Once again, he places the bassoon (his primary instrument) in the context of unpredictable music that exists somewhere between modern chamber music and electronic rock, and the result is even better than the debut. In addition to bassoon, Köhr provides contrabassoon, flute, EWI, keyboards, percussion, and programming; he’s joined by guests on Stick, violin, and voice (one track each). Overall, the sound is quite original, though various parts might bring to mind such diverse references as Gryphon, Lyle Mays, Stick Men, Happy the Man, and the incidental music of the original Star Trek TV series. The rich, woody tone of the bassoon is highlighted well in all these contexts, and Köhr is a very skilled player. I expect that many of the synth leads are performed on the EWI, and they have a fluid, natural flow that works well in this context. Highly recommended.

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Eskalation

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