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

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

D'arcana - Premonitions – The sprawling two-disc set at hand is D'arcana's third release, nearly two hours of ambitious studio recordings squarely in the modern progressive rock vein. This northern California trio is strong on...  (2008) » Read more

Progres 2 - Dialog S Vesmírem – This is a solid 76 minute live set from one of the better Eastern European prog bands. Progres 2 recorded several albums in the late 70s/early 80s featuring a rather dark and aggressive symphonic...  (1994) » Read more

Richard Barbieri - Stranger Inside – Richard Barbieri’s second solo album is an altogether different beast than 2006’s insightful textural melee Things Buried. Again pairing with veteran band mate from Japan (the band) Steve...  (2009) » Read more

Adrian Belew - Coming Attractions – Adrian Belew has been very busy in the imposed break from King Crimson. With multiple projects in various stages, it makes sense to market a sampler to highlight each of his works. Obviously,...  (2000) » Read more

Amorphis - My Kantele – This Finnish six-piece definitely has some idea where they are going. The five songs on this 22 minute EP include three originals, a Hawkwind cover ("Levitation") and another, "And I...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues