Exposé Online banner

Kuhn Fu — Chain the Snake
(Bandcamp no#, 2019, CD / LP / DL)

by Henry Schneider, 2019-06-06:

Chain the Snake Cover art

What do you do when you try to surpass your previous success? Try something different. And that is exactly what Kuhn Fu has done on their new album, Chain the Snake. The same elements are there, but arranged in new and fascinating patterns. There no romantic interludes this time around. Instead there is the controlled chaotic sounds of aggressive complex compositions taking bits of King Crimson, klezmer, and Alamaailman Vasarat and swirling them all together for something outside the norm. The track titles are intriguing as well: “Marco Messy Millionaire” who must be the guy on the cover art, “Gargamel” the Smurf’s nemesis, “Sonic Manah,” “Oswaldo’s Waltz,” “Gustav Grinch,” “Traktus,” and “Wolf’s Muckenkogel.” Their energy and craziness runs throughout all seven tracks be it Christian's insane ranting or paranoid guitar riffing, Ziv’s bass clarinet squealing, George Hadow’s martial drumming, or Esat’s inventive bass lines. Jarring moments alternate with quiet interludes, all dancing around the theme of a conman and villain. The few minutes of tranquility in this raucous sea is “Oswaldo’s Waltz,” a piece about a weird guy from South America who dances very slowly, lending an air of film noir. The closing track, “Wolf’s Muckenkogel,” is a bit of fun. Christian calls it a carnival polka to be sung by 80,000 people, but Kuhn Fu usually plays in front of 40 pensioners in South Germany. If you are looking for something out of the ordinary, invest a few mintues and give Chain the Snake a spin!


by Peter Thelen, 2019-06-06:

Surely what Kuhn Fu accomplished on their last album Kuhnspiracy couldn’t be topped, so this time out they seem to have wandered down a slightly different path, bringing forth their instrumental (save a shout or a chant here and there) jazz-rock-funk madness delivered with a manic punk urgency, like some out of control locomotive running down a hill that’s always just about to jump the track, although they do slow down at times and savor the finer moments. The band’s driving force is German guitarist Christian Achim Kühn, who is also responsible for all seven compositions, which can jump from panic to peace and back with hardly any warning. The rest of the quartet includes Turkish double-bassist Esat Ekincioglu, British drummer George Hadow and rounding out the sound, from Israel, comes Ziv Taubenfeld on bass clarinet. The wild and sometimes jarring juxtapositions of hard-edged angular math-jazz moves of radical abandon with softer and gentler melodic moments custom made for the bass clarinet make for a fairly wild ride, something that might sound right at home on the Cuneiform label. Even a bit of east-euro mutant klezmer folk creeps into some of the pieces like the closer “Wolf’s Muckenkogel,” offering interesting diversions from their standard form. Throughout, the compositions are exact and precise, though delivered in a way that seemingly gives each instrument plenty of expressive room, contributing to an overall sense of chaos and pandemonium. “Oswaldo’s Waltz” is one where they slow down a bit, with the bottom end paving a dreamy path for an eloquent ongoing conversation between guitar and bass clarinet, and probably the only number here without a jarring dynamic surprise somewhere along the way. One might also be reminded of the Czech powerhose Už Jsme Doma, or any of the RIO bands that operate along the jazz-punk axis. Any way one hears it, Chain the Snake is an excellent step forward for this innovative band.


Filed under: New releases , 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Kuhn Fu

More info
http://kuhnfumusic.bandcamp.com/album/chain-the-snake

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Secret Oyster - Vidunderlige Kælling – While listening to this album, I find myself often comparing it to Camel’s Snow Goose. For one thing, there is a certain stylistic similarity, as they are both keyboard-centric instrumental rock...  (2006) » Read more

The Muffins - Open City – For the uninitiated, The Muffins were a Washington DC based band who existed from about 1973 to '81. Despite that many years, they only released three regular albums during their career (although...  (1994) » Read more

Stealing the Fire - Hot Ice and Wondrous Strange Snow – Not really a sequel, but certainly a long time coming. Anyone recall the Earthstone album Seed? At the time it was receiving some good reviews, actually people were raving about it; I know I liked it....  (2002) » Read more

Big Brother & the Holding Company - Be a Brother & How Hard It Is – This band will forever be remembered as Janis Joplin’s backing band, though their relationship with the singer only lasted two years and two albums. After Joplin’s departure, they...  (2005) » Read more

Dün - Eros – Zeuhl alert! One of the best, yet little known zeuhl gems has re-surfaced thanks to the specialty label Soleil Atreides, the same folks who recently gave us Archaia. Dün is rather more in the...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues