Exposé Online banner

Hattler — Velocity
(Bassball CD 36080, 2018, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-11-14

Velocity Cover art

Though most will know Hellmut Hattler as a founding member and bassist of Kraan, many are not aware of his works outside of that band, which probably began in 1977 with his solo album Bassball and several collaborations following that with Joo Kraus, Torsten De Winkel and others. The band Hattler (as opposed to his solo albums) began around 2000 woth No Eats Yes and has been a going concern ever since, Velocity being the latest of about 14 releases, including three live albums. As opposed to Kraan, which has an expected primarily instrumental free-wheeling funky jazz-rock sound, the band that bears Hattler’s name can go anywhere, in any direction, and do it competently and comfortably. On this one, HH writes or co-writes most of the material, and still plays a mean bass. Also on board are Joo Kraus (trumpet), Martin Kasper (keyboards, Mellotron, piano, electronics), Juergen Schlachter (drums, percussion), Ali Neander (guitar), and singer Fola Dada on many of the vocal cuts, plus plenty of other folks as needed on various tracks. “Anthem for Approaching Starships” opens the album (and a shorter reprise of it closes the disc), an instrumental with a grand powerful melody that is simply unforgettable, featuring a full horn section, xylophone, Mellotron and much more. Fola Dada is introduced on the second track “Teaser,” which features a more funky bottom end and radio friendly approach as opposed to the more symphonic opener. She’s featured on four of the 11 cuts, but perhaps the most memorable of all is “Mayday in Paradise,” where she turns in a truly beautiful and sensitive vocal performance over a combination of drums and electronic beats with Kraus’ trumpet lighting the pathway, one of those songs that just grabs you and doesn’t let go. The title track features a stripped down lineup of Kraus, Hattler on bass and effected vocals, and electronics (beats and sounds) by Peter Musebrink for a laid-back almost trancey yet stunningly melodic romp. Hattler and Musebrink feature again on “Delhi Mail,” along with Torsten De Winkel playing electric sitar, a lot of percussives and other synth sounds underpinning a very forward moving groove where bass an sitar paint an unforgettable melody. All taken, there are notable surprises throughout the album at every turn.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Hellmut Hattler, Hattler

Latest news

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
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

2019-01-02
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

2018-12-23
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

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Charlemagne Palestine - A Sweet Quasimodo between Black Vampire Butterflies for Maybeck – In the 30 or so years that Charlemagne Palestine has been around, this writer has never heard any of his music until now. It was inevitable that one of his recordings would reach my ears eventually,...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues