Schneider Kacirek — Shadows Documents
(Bureau B BB175, 2015, CD / LP)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2015-01-21
Schneider Kacirek is the German electronic duo of Stefan Schneider (no relation to this author) and Sven Kacirek who, on Shadows Document, meld African rhythms and dark electronica. A couple of years ago, under the auspices of the Goethe Institute and UNESCO, Schneider and Kacirek spent a lot of time in Kenya recording rare traditional music. They took these recordings as inspirations for their electronic reinterpretations of the repetitive, hypnotic elements that are integral to tribal music. All nine tracks on Shadows Documents are heavily rhythmic. The opening track, “Doubles,” is pure electronic rhythms, drums, and pulsating bass that takes about a minute to resolve into something. There are certain things about this track that reminded me of Holger Czukay and Can. All of the tracks are different, and at the same time similar. Outstanding tracks are “To Microphone” with its interesting rhythm, electric bass, electronic squeaks, and clanging metal; “Talwerk” with its drones, percussion, and electronic sounds like a test of the Emergency Broadcast System; and “We Will Need Each Other” that adds an analog element to the mix with scratchy vinyl sounds. To compliment the music is the interesting cover art. It looks like it could be used in a Rorschach Test. Actually it is a negative image of a pile of sawed off tree limbs and leaves. Shadows Document is an interesting approach to music and rhythm, but it can be a challenging listening experience.
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