Exposé Online banner

Lars Stroschen / Jörg Thomasius / André Ruschkowski — Tonart Vier
(Off-Scale OS04, 1995, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 1995-07-01

Tonart Vier Cover artVier is the fourth and latest chapter of avant garde electronic experimentation from Tonart. Tonart began in 1992 as the collaborative efforts of Conrad Schnitzler, Lars Stroschen, and Jörg Thomasius. Their approach to composition is for each musician to record solo material and mix it with music from one or more of the others. Their first two releases, Eins and Zwei, featured all three composers. Their third release, Drei, featured just Stroschen and Thomasius. Now with Vier they introduce a new element to the equation, namely one André Ruschkowski. Each of their four releases has a different mood and I think that Vier is their most accessible effort yet. This may be due to the addition of Ruschkowski, unknown to Western ears, but apparently an accomplished electronic musician and winner of several academic competitions. All the music on Vier is based around a 13 minute excerpt, "Akonie I," taken from 60 minutes of electronic improvisation by all three recorded in January 1994. There are 10 pieces on the disk: three solo pieces, three duo pieces, thre trio pieces, and "Akonie I." There are no song titles except for "Akonie I," just the composers' initials for that piece. The solo pieces contain original music from the composer mixed with processed sound material for "Akonie I." The duo pieces follow the approach of the solo pieces but with the second composer adding more music and processing. Finally the trio pieces follow the approach for the duo pieces with the third composer adding still more work to finish the piece. The results are amazing. No two pieces sound alike! I want to say that the music is amorphous, without movement or form yet that is not an accurate description. Sometimes it is a slowly evolving movement of searing electronics like Pascal Comelade's early work. At others, groaning gargantuan metallic structures threaten to collapse on you. My favorite piece, the third track "LS & AR," is an interstellar journey where you witness the birth of stars, much like the visual experience of Kubrick's psychedelic trip through the star gate in 2001. Pregnant women and people with heart conditions should not attempt listening to this CD! But for those of you with a taste for adventure and experimentation, Vier is sure to please.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 7, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Jörg Thomasius

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music festival world, and music festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Germinale - Germinale – One of the better of the new Italian progressive bands, their eponymous debut just escaped the second part of our "New Italian Progressive Rock Scene" overview back in issue #4. So with the...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues