110

Polwechsel: Archives of the North

Kurt Gottschalk By

Sign in to view read count
Polwechsel: Archives of the North In a world based largely on solo and duo work and chance collaborations, Polwechsel and poire_z were supergroups. The quiet flutters of electronics and acoustic instruments can be hard enough to keep fresh and engaging for two performers, but often times larger groups just blur the whole creation—becoming more like a mud puddle than a cloud. If AMM are the forebears of the quiet improv scene (and they are), Polwechsel and poire_z were the proudest sons.

By 2004, however, both groups had disbanded, leaving a hole in the European version of onkyo. The members continued to work, of course, but for followers it was something like the Stones had broke up at the same time as the Beatles. Sure, we still had the Kinks, but...

Happily, Polwechsel, originally formed in 1993, has returned with its third lineup and fifth release, one every bit as strong as its excellent, sometimes hard to find predecessors. The group's founders, cellist Michael Moser and bassist Werner Dafeldecker, remain, as does saxophonist John Butcher, who replaced trombonist Radu Malfatti in 1997. The five tracks on Archives of the North (ranging from five to fifteen minutes) are immediately recognizable as Polwechsel sound—sustained, breathy scrapes and tones punctuated very occasionally by discrete bass occurrences.

But the surprise this time, with the departure of guitarist Burkard Stangl, is that the group now has two percussionists. For such a soft and abstract ensemble, drums would seem a detriment, but Burkhard Beins and Martin Brandlmayr approach the group with an orchestral sense. There are more abrupt moments here than on previous discs, but then Revolver was hardly Beatles for Sale, either. The group has grown in breadth and dynamic—and for the better, if only because sitting still is never an improvement.

Track Listing: Datum Cut; Mirror; Core Cut; Magnetic North; Site And Setting

Personnel: Burkhard Beins: drums, percussion; Martin Brandlmayr: drums, percussion; John Butcher: tenor and soprano saxophones; Werner Daveldecker: double bass; Michael Moser: cello, computer.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Hatology | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Godspeed" CD/LP/Track Review Godspeed
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "From the Heart" CD/LP/Track Review From the Heart
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake" CD/LP/Track Review Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Pigs & Fairies" CD/LP/Track Review Pigs & Fairies
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 16, 2017
Read "Alba" CD/LP/Track Review Alba
by John Kelman
Published: June 10, 2016
Read "Goodbye to Language" CD/LP/Track Review Goodbye to Language
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: August 14, 2016
comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!