Spaltklang — In Between
(AltrOck Productions ALT 037, 2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-01-06Led by Swiss saxophonist and composer Markus Stauss, Spaltklang has been in action for a dozen years or more, with a four-piece configuration over most of the duration, and four previous albums (on the Fazzul label) to their credit. In Between is their AltrOck debut with a newly reworked five-piece lineup since their previous release En Suite from 2009. Joining Stauss and original drummer / keyboardist Remy Strauli (formerly of Yolk, though no keyboards are credited this time out) are guitarist Francesco Zago (of Yugen), Austrian trumpeter Ritsche Koch and double-bassist Christian Weber (also in Kurai with Zago) making this a truly international band. The five long cuts on In Between are a wild ride up and down the jazz side, with enough influence from ouside the idiom (chamber, rock, touches of funk and swing) to keep the proceedings interesting over the album’s nearly one hour duration. The sound is full of energy and rich melodies and criss-crossing counterpoint, bolstered by the frontline of sax and trumpet. Drums and bass maintain a subtle but busy interplay providing (along with guitar) a fluid framework to support the compositions. This ‘wild ride’ also implies lots of honkin’ and squonkin’ at times, so if that’s not something to your liking, you have my permission to wander off to another review. Truly though, this has more of a ‘Cuneiform’ sound than what one might normally encounter on the AltrOck label, recalling the whipped-up swinging jazz-rock of bands like Blast. While Zago’s furious guitar soloing on the the closer “Ural Fragment” is worth the price of admission by itself, this is a solid jazz-rock effort beginning to end with plenty of strong melodic elements that reveal themselves over repeated plays.
Related artist(s): Spaltklang
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more