Exposé Online banner

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

by Peter Thelen, 2019-06-06:

Chain the Snake Cover art

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.


by Henry Schneider, 2019-06-06:

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!


Filed under: New releases , 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Kuhn Fu

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

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Ragnarok - Nooks – Belle Antique released this some time ago in the days when Japanese distribution was much more expensive and less widespread. It's a vinyl transcription of the second album by the New Zealand...  (1995) » Read more

Group Therapy - Atlantis – No this isn’t the California band Atlantis. This is a Japanese band called Group Therapy with an album titled Atlantis. This is a seven-piece all-instrumental band: two guitarists, a flute...  (2000) » Read more

Quarkspace - Spacefolds 1 – While the material on Quarkspace's CD release (see review in issue #11) has more of a song focus, these tapes feature the band's more improvisational and spacy side. All of the material on...  (1997) » Read more

The Last James - Kindergarten – Is this Magical Mystery Tour Vol. II? Kindergarten is a brilliant concept album of intense psychedelic pop, loaded with Mellotrons, great vocal harmonies, song-to-song musical references, outstanding...  (1997) » Read more

Holger Czukay - Moving Pictures – If Holger Czukay continues to bring forth projects of the caliber achieved here, he will continue to keep my attention. For Moving Pictures is much more delicate on the sensitive ear than anything I...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues