115

King : Trigger Zone

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
The interpersonal politics of collective improvisation are tricky terrain to map and predict. How do musicians determine and agree on a shared spontaneous itinerary? What are the auditory and tactile tools and cues that lead to consensual shifts in direction and scope? What happens when the elements break down or are misconstrued in the moment? The answers to these queries are as varied as the number of groups who choose free improvisation as their means of communal communication. All of these questions and countless others are brought into bas-relief by the music of the King Übü Örchestrü, a multinational aggregate of musicians hailing from the four corners of Europe. Theirs is a music rooted in noise and texture rather than cleanly delineated structure and repetition. Not ‘noise’ as in unchecked volume and bombast, but instead a mixed and channeled breed of sounds generated as a means and end in and of itself.

Conventional musical stanchions such as melody, harmony, and rhythm are foreign currencies here and the musicians meet their instruments on purely sonic terms. Fuchs sopranino becomes a twittering gearbox; Dörner’s trumpet a squeaking metallic bear trap. Poore’s tuba emulates a mammoth bicycle horn blurting out moist snatches of fractured Morse code while Wachsmann’s strings radiate filament thin hooks that lodge sharply in the silent spaces. Beginnings and endings seem largely superfluous and arbitrary. The players simply play until the mood strikes them to stop.

In his liner notes Peter Niklas Wilson recounts encountering the band members after this performance, arguing in animated tones over the relative success of their endeavors. It seems there were moments when certain players wished to cease and others opted to continue, dragging their fellows forward begrudgingly for renewed improvisatory interplay. Listening to the results it’s all but impossible to determine where these breaks in communication occurred. And perhaps that’s point. Close attention with an ear bent towards discovering the forms and meanings behind each piece are likely to be repaid with frustration.

Both maddening and strangely compelling this is collective improvisation that will probably annoy and inveigle those listeners expecting a linear experience. The nearest referent by my estimation is the work of Boston musicians like Bhob Rainey and Greg Kelley, though there are plenty of others who travel similar byways devoid of any kind of overtly traceable architecture. As to the succession of questions that opened this review— the members of King Übü deliver only the most cryptic indicators of hows and whys behind what they do. Reduced to purely audio elements through the media of compact disc it’s this retained mystery and obstinacy that lends most prominently to their music’s lasting allure.

FMP on the web: http://www.fmp-online.de/


Track Listing: Area 1/ Area 2/ Area 3/ Area 4.

Personnel: Wolfgang Fuchs- sopranino saxophone, bass & contrabass clarinets; Peter van Bergen- tenor saxophone; Axel D

| Record Label: FMP Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "The Rhythm Method" CD/LP/Track Review The Rhythm Method
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "As subtle as tomorrow" CD/LP/Track Review As subtle as tomorrow
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 9, 2016
Read "Swivel" CD/LP/Track Review Swivel
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "Cantos Invisíveis" CD/LP/Track Review Cantos Invisíveis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "Furiously Dreaming" CD/LP/Track Review Furiously Dreaming
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 1, 2016
Read "Nexus" CD/LP/Track Review Nexus
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: June 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!