Trank Zappa Grappa in Varese? — More Light
(Fazul fm 0824, 2008, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-10-01
TZGIV is a band led by Swiss saxophonist Markus Strauss; the band’s name stands for “Trank Zappa Grappa in Varese?” so one might take a wild guess at who one of their chief influences is, although that connection is not readily obvious from their sound, which fuses free-jazz elements to a heavy rock groove with guitar shredding galore. Also on board are guitarist Michel Delville and drummer Laurent Delchambre, both members of The Wrong Object, and Damien Campion on electric and double bass. For the most part this is bristling with energy, driving hard, rocking up the jazz grooves and vice versa, occasionally breaking down for some intelligent improvisation that burns brightly but rarely approaches chaos. Perhaps with more cooks in the kitchen it indeed might, but with only two players at the top end, the ensemble seems to be right-sized for the best fit. Sometimes they take it down a few notches and get a bit introspective, occasionally employing electronic guitar-synth gimmicks; at these times the entire ensemble tends to go into free improv mode, but even at their most free moments they still don’t reach the Excedrin threshold. There are plenty of exciting moments herein, and most fans of the freewheeling side of jazz-rock should find plenty here of interest.
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more