Exposé Online banner

Steve Baltes / Harald Grosskopf / Axel Manrico Heilhecker — Viermal Drei (4 x 3)
(Groove Unlimited GR-104, 2001/2004, CD)

by Phil Derby, Published 2001-07-01

Viermal Drei (4 x 3) Cover art

Having been associated with the likes of Ashra and Klaus Schulze, these three guys decided to venture out on their own and see what they could come up with. The result forms a highly successful outing of four long jams of electric guitars, aggressive rhythms, and electronic loops and samples. It’s like Berlin school mixed with rock and maybe even the sensibilities of long freeform jazz, at least in terms of the way the musicians just open it up and play off of each other, feeling the musical moment. Though I’ve heard Baltes has a penchant for precision, the result feels spontaneous and visceral. The emphasis is on long tracks that captivate with hypnotic beats and circular musical patterns that repeat into infinity. “Blue Lake” sounds like an Ashra track with pumped-up drums. “Crazy Snake” mixes lots of beats and samples into a more concentrated burst of energy. “White Deer Skin Dance” makes very good use of a Manuel Göttsching sample, the end result being even more Ashra-like than “Blue Lake.” Finally, the disc hits its peak with “The Long Walk” as strong electric guitar plays to powerful but slightly more restrained rhythms, and rhythmic structure gives way to texture and sonic exploration. Great stuff.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 22, 2004 releases, 2001 recordings

Related artist(s): Harald Grosskopf

Latest news

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Christian Vander / Simon Goubert - Welcome – These guys have just about got it right on this one! For the last several years, Christian Vander has been following the spirit of John Coltrane, particularly the Impulse years, Both he and Goubert...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues