Exposé Online banner

Spaltklang — In Between
(AltrOck Productions ALT 037, 2013, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-01-06

In Between Cover artLed 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.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Spaltklang

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Nukli - The Time Factory – Nukli are a psych-rock band who have a fairly long history peppered with only a few, rare releases. Having spent a good part of the 80s gigging in England on the festival scene with the likes of the...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues