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

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Garden Wall - The Seduction of Madness – I'm not certain if this band is named from the lyric of Genesis' "I Know What I Like," but that could begin to explain the myriad of styles the band employs. Garden Wall has a metalish rhythm section...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues