almenrauschen

IS A PLATFORM TO PRESENT MUSIC ON AN EQUAL AESTHETIC AS DISCURSIVE LEVEL. THE PRESENTED WORKS AIM TO EMPOWER ACTIVE LISTENING, CONTEMPLATION AND THOUGHT. THE MUSIC DISSOCIATE FROM COMPOSERS AND THEIR TECHNIQUES AND STANDS ON ITS OWN, ALBUMS ARE CREATED OUT OF A READING OF ZEITGEIST, RESULTING ON THE MOST LONG-LASTING AND ANTIQUE SOUND CARRIER (TON TRÄGER) AVAILABLE: VINYL – AND IN RESPECT TO CONTEMPORARY LIFE, AS FILES (LIKE OIL PAINTING AND ITS DIGITAL APPEARANCE). COVERS ARE DESIGNED BY STEPHANIE RODERER (PINGPONG.COM) REFLECTING THE PRESENTED CONTENT ADDING TO IT ANOTHER LEVEL. THE ALBUMS ARE LIMITED TO 300 COPIES. THE EDITION WAS PARTIALLY FUNDED BY THE CULTURE OFFICE OF BOLZANO I/EU, AND SUPPORTED BY THE CONTRIBUTORS AND AUTHORS OF MUSIC, COVER-DESIGN AND SOUND-ENGINEERING. THE EDITIONS BASE IS PANKOW/BERLIN/D/EU.

THE NAME ALMENRAUSCHEN DERIVES FROM THE AURAL SENSATION PERCEIVING A NON INTENTIONAL SOUND WORLD AND TRANSFORMING IT TO MUSICAL SENSE-MAKING.

 

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VITAL WEEKLY number 1204

KLAUS JANEK – CASPAR (LP by Almenrauschen)
KLAUS JANEK – THREE SEASONS (LP by Almenrauschen)
KLAUS JANEK – INFINITE BANG (LP by Almenrauschen)

Often I feel a bit reserved when I put a CD of solo recordings in my player; afraid that things might become boring, one dimensional, etc. But in the case of Klaus Janek, there is absolutely no reason to be afraid of this. Also when it is your opinion that the double bass isn’t such a rich instrument.
Janek opens a wide range of possibilities that find their way in some intriguing compositions. Music that is deeply emotional and human, fascinating and frightening. So I soon felt absorbed in his musical worlds. What a voice! Born in Bolzano, in the north of Italy, Janek is based in Berlin for many years. In his early years, he studied soprano and alto flute, trumpet as well as classical percussion. He started in local rock and jazz bands. Since 1988 he concentrated on double bass, studying with Mauro Muraro among others, and participated in workshops with Dave Holland, Butch Morris and Peter Kowald. Since the 90s he is into avant-garde and improvised music with a special interest for thecombination of double bass and electronics. Besides he composes music for cinema, theatre and dance productions. He released the core of his (solo) work so far on 5 albums, all to be released in 2019. This edition is titled ‘Almenrauschen’, a name that may by an allusion to the mountains around Bolzano where Janek grew up. Anyway, three of the albums are out so far. All solo ones. ‘Reciprocum’ and ‘Prospecting’ will be released later. Recordings for ‘Caspar’ took place on several occasions in the ’90s, spanning some four years. The album was first released in 2001 for Solponticello. It was his debut recording. It is a work in seven parts. Janek was inspired by the life of Kaspar Hauser who grew up imprisoned. Once set free he perceived reality, ordinary phenomena like trees and birds in a completely distorted way from what was common. He had to develop his way of deciphering, etc. of what he perceived. This story 

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inspired Janek trying to discover newpossibilities from a radical approach. He creates beautiful drones, contrasted with restless bowing and plucking, etc. At moments Janek also sings. At one moment he sings unison with the double bass playing a melodic line. Or he screams and howls, or tries some throat singing techniques. Also, some – accidental – environmental sounds pop up at a few places. Part four has Janek playing in an extremely sharp and dynamic way. Vibrant and dramatic improvisation by a player he puts his soul into his playing. The lp closes with a beautiful jazz composition, ‘Prayer Beads’ by American bassist and composer Marc Johnson, with Janek playing with deep and warm sounds. ‘Three Seasons’ was recorded live in February 2003 in Berlin. He plays the composition by Janek on contrabass. For this composition in six parts, Janek is inspired by what we go through inthe case of a loss: fighting it, accepting it, etc. So here Janek evokes moods and emotions. Again Janek impresses the listener with very sensitive playing; making poetry of the dramatic experiences that inspire him here; a musical meditation on the human condition. The opening of ´Winter part 2´ is one of those places where Janek creates some very specific sounds and sonorities. ´Spring´ starts from a repeated pattern that is coloured in different ways before Janek accelerates and works towards a peak of baffling intensity and beauty. Ending with a melodic coda; a very lively and expressive statement. The third album, ‘Infinite Bang’, was also live recorded at Klanggalerie, Berlin. Recordings took place in November last year. This time Janek takes inspiration from the book ‘Solaris’ by Polish author Stanislaw Lem. It resulted in one lengthy composition of over 45 minutes that has Janek playing double bass and electronics. After an acoustic start, the work continues after a few minutes on another plain with looped and processed sounds from the double bass. After a while, the double bass engages with the electronic environment and so on. Compared with the two other albums this one is even more abstracting from conventions. His approach here is more reduced to a pure sound investigation; a very proportionate and effective combination of acoustics and electronics. It is multi-layered but there is no overkill. At moments his bass sounds like a creepy, screaming voice. An impressive work. These releases convincingly illustrate that Janek is an important player open for experiment and with a story to tell. Very relevant and urgent stuff. (DM)

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