Hans Reichel & Eroc — The Return of Onkel Boskopp
(Repertoire REP 4688-WY, 1982/1997, CD)
by Mike Ezzo, Published 1999-01-01
Careful. This is Hans Reichel; not to be confused with another German experimentalist - Achim Reichel. The Reichel featured here is known for constructing home made string instruments, and performing solo. Here he is flanked by former Grobschnitt percussion man, Eroc. For the most part Reichel offers up a beautiful multi-layered guitar style, like an avant version of Michael Rother. Or a more melodic Fred Frith. Like Frith though, he succumbs to buffoonery, adding silly vocal noises and deliberately out-of-tune violin that is neither funny nor interesting to an old curmudgeon like I am. But fortunately it isn't overdone. Originally I had expected a guitar-only approach. But that can't be, as he covers a much wider spectrum of instruments: from raunchy distorted guitar, to bass, synth, samplers and violin. If all these sounds were produced by guitar only then give the guy a medal! Percussion work is rather thin on the ground, barring a drum machine here and there, so dominant a performer is Reichel. Soundwise The Return... is practically in a genre of its own. A certain whimsy and bizarre personality pervade it, sometimes bringing to mind Eno's Taking Tiger Mountain. That kind of crossover between oddball rock that can't get its footing, with a concurrent futuristic yearning and a dash of the traditional, especially in some of the dance forms like waltz and such. The mind tends to get a bit dazed bouncing around between styles. Latin beats and even circus music don't go untouched. I may be completely stumped, but it's a successfully done boundary breaker to be sure!
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