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

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
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


Previously in Exposé...

Herbe Rouge - Herbe Rouge – This progressive group is of the sort that could only come from France in the 70s where a distinctive and idiosyncratic form of weirdness flourished. Like many of their progressive compatriots, Herbe...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues