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Dafeldecker / Kurzmann / Drumm / eRikm / dieb13 / Noetinger - Dafeldecker / Kurzmann / Drumm / eRikm / dieb13 / Noetinger

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Artist: Dafeldecker / Kurzmann / Drumm / eRikm / dieb13 / Noetinger

Album: Dafeldecker / Kurzmann / Drumm / eRikm / dieb13 / Noetinger

Label: Charhizma

Review date: Jul. 24, 2003

Electronics from Werner Dafeldecker, Kevin Drumm, and Others

This mostly electronic album closely parallels aspects of traditional free jazz even they sound nothing alike. dafeldecker/kurzmann… features Werner Dafeldecker of Polwechsel on electronics and bass and Christof Kurzmann on G3 and clarinet. They’re joined on most of the tracks by Kevin Drumm on synthesizer and guitar, and on several by eRikm on electronics, dieb13 on turntables and Jerome Noetinger playing “electroacoustic devices.” The unaltered sounds of the acoustic instruments are only occasionally identifiable, though, and what's left is a collection of rather nondescript electronic sounds. The blips, bleeps and washes of static aren't paricularly warm, and they're too layered and dense to be especially creepy or machine-like.

But free jazz shows that music can be exciting even when timbre isn't much of a concern. Despite all the ink spilled in celebration of the sounds coming from the saxophones of John Coltrane and Albert Ayler, for instance, most free jazz really lives or dies on the strength of the interaction among its performers and on the surprising twists they take.

Similarly, dafeldecker/kurzmann… thrives not because of its sounds, but because of the way those sounds interact. Noises are piled on top of each other to create rich textures, then peeled away to turn the spotlight on a rhythm the listener may have missed. Huge static whirs temporarily take the lead, only to reveal themselves as the accompaniment to surprisingly accessible drum loops.

I didn't like this album much the first time I heard it, and I think that's because I wanted to approach it as if it were a techno record or a free jazz LP. It isn't techno – the sounds aren't interesting enough, and there are few conventional grooves. And it isn't free jazz – while dafeldecker/kurzmann… does depend on development and interaction to make its point, it doesn't depend on melody, and the sorts of interaction here happen more slowly than they would on a free jazz album. Still, dafeldecker/kurzmann… is well-done; the layering and development featured on the album are consistently interesting. Some listeners may find that they have to play the album a few times before they figure out how to hear it, but they'll probably be glad once they do.

By Charlie Wilmoth

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