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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Kammerflimmer Kollektief
Temporary Residence Ltd

Rating: 9/10 ?

April 30, 2001
I've been broadening my horizons lately, at least on the musical front, partly out of self-discipline and partly out of disgust with guitar-based indie rock and commercial hip-hop. I've found a few really interesting records, and it goes without saying that I've come across some very disappointing ones as well. Of the interesting ones, some prove to be classics, some ultimately wind up as catalog information for my music database, and some just blow my mind. There have been very few of the interesting records which have landed in the latter category of just plain cool.

Without a doubt the coolest part of Kammerflimmer Kollektief's sound is the way they meld together huge chunks of external references and internal vision. In "Implodiert" (implode) alone there are intervals of everything from classical jazz to trance to adult contemporary. They butt up against each other, rub elbows, overlap, and otherwise interact to form a disjointed but ultimately intact chain of expressions and interpretive sound. The tracks that follow experiment with this abstract awkwardness to similar degrees of success. The album's fourth cut, entitled "Faller," is another supreme example of what can be done with drastically different sounds, in this case a towering, Hendrix-esque guitar layer performing aerobatics over an acoustic, aboriginal bongo beat. For me the icing on the cake is the fact that I have lived just up the road from these guys in Germany for about half of my life, which I find to be pretty cool in itself. Isn't there some famous quote about proximity to greatness?

I really can't say enough about this record, the first that I have heard successfully pull off such an ecclectic sound in such a seriously artistic way. Cello mixes with break beats mixes with scratching mixes with acoustic strumming mixes with ambient noise mixes with all kinds of catchy loops, blending together in a manner that carries a weight most experimental/glitchtronic artists just can't seem to hold.

Trying to branch out as I have been is sometimes very frightening. One one hand it is frightening to see how much utter crap there is out there attempting to be passed off as music, on both sides of the imaginary "sellout" fence. On the other hand, it is also scary when you come across something you'd never heard of before but are totally engrossed in after only one listen. The Kammerflimmer Kollektief embody the latter, which is to say that they are scary good.

PS - If anyone in the Kollektief happens to read this, I live outside of a really small town in Landkreis Gießen. It's pretty much right up the A5. I used to go to shows in Marburg where great bands (Jonathan Fire*Eater, the Sorts, Mondo Fumatore) would play every so often, so if you happen to be performing around Hessen, drop me a line!

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth



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