Exposé Online banner

Richter Band — Richter Band
(Rachot RT0002-2 311, 1992, CD)

by Rob Walker, Published 1995-03-01

Richter Band  Cover artListening to the first track of this Czech ensemble's debut album, I had the feeling that it was leading up to something — a sudden leap in intensity, an eruption into a wild and busy jam section, or some form of energetic musical statement (Gong's "A Sprinkling of Clouds" comes to mind). Well, the second track picks up a little, but throughout the entire 70 minutes of this disc, the music remains subdued and mysterious. That’s not necessarily bad, just a bit surprising. Richter Band is a three-piece, and their instrumentation includes electric and acoustic guitars, bass, and a variety of percussion — no standard drum set. The percussion is especially interesting; aside from some African drums, it consists almost entirely of "homemade" instruments — pots, pans, bowls, and other such items, used to surprisingly good effect. Much of the music on this album is created by the superimposition of several slowly shifting rhythmic patterns and melodic ostinatos. In fact, the rhythmic ideas they use are often quite similar in style to an Indonesian gamelan orchestra, with the pitched percussion parts being played by guitars and bass. An example closer to home might be the minimalist work of composers like Steve Reich, who has been influenced by the strong rhythmic nature of both gamelan and African drumming. Two of the ten tracks are percussion only, and in addition to the mesmerizing sound of all three members weaving a sinuous rhythmic trance, feature interesting, or at least creative, sound effects such as spinning pot-lids on a cement floor, all recorded with a healthy dose of reverb. Another track is created using only guitars, with spacey E-bow drones drifting through various pick and slide effects. Especially for a contemporary progressive ensemble, Richter Band performs an original and creative music. Relaxing, peaceful, and meditative, it may not appeal to listeners who want searing guitar leads and driving drum and bass riffs constantly bombarding their ears. But careful listening will reveal a certain sophistication underlying the deceptive mellowness, and more explorative listeners should find this disc quite enjoyable.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 6, 1992 releases

Related artist(s): Richter Band

Latest news

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Hector Zazou - Sonora Portraits 2: Strong Currents – Zazou has been a prominent producer and instigator of musical projects for many years, having worked with a wide variety of artists. On this collection, we get collaborations with various female...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues