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Peter Br: Fuck De Boere

Derek Taylor By

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Leaving little room for equivocal interpretation, the title of this disc doesn't mince words and is totally indicative of the kind of antagonistic music symbolized by its imperative. As Brötzmann explains in the terse block prose of the sleeve notes the sentiment was gleaned from his many conversations with South African expatriate bassist Johnny Dyani who would recount stories of life under the social and political weight of apartheid. Extrapolated further, "De Boere" becomes an archetype for any entity or group that seeks to stifle and subjugate the freedoms of others. The aggressive pugnacity inherent in this music is a direct response and affront to any such mongers of oppression.

Both tracks were recorded at the Frankfurt Jazz Festival and judging from enthusiastic response that appends each one their audiences were ready for them. The live version of "Machine Gun" augments the original octet with the addition of Dudek to the already frighteningly formidable horn section. Ironically this concert recording possesses a cleaner sound than the original May '68 studio recording of the piece, though the bassists still suffer somewhat when competing with the furious din of the horns. The clarion scything cacophony of unison horns erupts and the band is off blasting above the clamorous drum barrage of Bennink and Neibergall. The piece follows a similar tack to its earlier incarnation with added space made for Dudek in the solo order between shrapnel-spraying ensemble explosions. Van Hove's staccato solo fires off salvo after salvo of clustered key bombs peppering the basses and drums with a cascading field of flak. The bowed bass duet that follows is crisply captured and allows for a clean juxtaposition of Kowald and Niebergall's string scarring lines. Returning to the hard swinging underlying theme in the final minutes the piece implodes in upon itself in a riotous release.

The title track is every bit as uncompromising, the product of a group where horns out number the other instruments two to one. The four-piece brass section also promises Bailey's furious amplified strums skip across and against Bennink's drums and a lone tenor that sounds suspiciously like Brötzmann's. A whinnying chorus of trombones chortles with Van Hove's stringent organ swells, the latter sounding weirdly akin to Sun Ra's manic synthesizer musings. The absence of a bass player in the group places extra emphasis on Bennink's burly drum kit and the Dutchman doesn't shirk on his duties, banging out a noisome clatter that routinely goes head-to-head with the prickly phalanx of horns. A short solo in the piece's first half also offers him significant opportunity to boast his mettle. Various ensemble factions surface and subside in his wake carrying the band to an apocalyptic culmination punctuated by a single saxophone shout.

Brötzmann's continued fecundity when it comes to recording makes it easy to forget that he's been carving his niche in creative music for over three decades. Valuable archival releases like this one remind us of the earlier stages in his career as well as offer proof that he's been at the top of his game for quite some time. Far from being some dusty desiccated relic this music still packs a vicious bite and can excoriate the ears as easily as anything a fraction of its age.


Track Listing: Machine Gun (17:34)/ Fuck De Boere (36:33).

Personnel: Peter Br

Title: Fuck De Boere | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Atavistic Worldwide


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