Saturday, March 01, 2014

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Review: Spaltklang - In Between (2013)

Artist: Spaltklang
Album: In Between
Year: 2013
Label: AltrOck

Review: Diego Camargo

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Thoughts: If you follow my reviews you’ll see that I receive releases from the Italian label AltrOck quite frequently. And to be honest with you, some of the best releases of the latest two years came from this label: Camelias Garden, La Coscienza Di Zeno, The Worm Ouroboros, Not A Good Sign and so on. It’s really hard to find an album from AltorOck/Fading that’s not good, not to mention weak.
Now, having said that you may think that the album I’m about to review is another great one… well…

It is certain that Spaltklang, a project born in 2001 from an idea of saxophone player Markus Stauss, is a composed of high quality musicians and that In Between (2013) is amazingly produced and will please ANY Jazz Fusion lovers. The problem here, at least for me is: what’s the point?

Now, I admit, Jazz Fusion and any kind of ‘Free Music’ is not for me. For me, Jazz Fusion is a kind of music that doesn’t ring any bell and fail to hold my attention as I think it’s a kind of music that just plays along without any plan. I am a kind of guy that likes more cerebral music that’s been planned and just then executed.

Spaltklang, as I mentioned, is guided by a Swiss saxophone player Markus Stauss and for their 5th album In Between (2013), he renewed the band and now they also have Richard Koch (trumpet), Francesco Zago (electric guitar and loops), Rémy Sträuli (drums) and Christian Weber (double bass) in their line-up.
Markus and Francesco are also part of the band Yugen (check them in our Podcast #13 HERE), that follows pretty much the same sonic path.

In Between (2013) is exactly what every Jazz Fusion album usually is: too long songs with almost no main riffs in the them and improvisations along the whole of the five tracks and 59 minutes of the album. Maybe the exception is ‘4 Elements’ and that’s exactly why this is one of the most interesting tracks on the album! It shows you can have a main and interesting riff as a lifeline to the listener and still be able to freely move within the music.
‘Ural Fragment’ follows the same way and again shows interesting moments. But for me the Drone sequences on the track make it uninteresting again.

Resuming, if you’re a Jazz Fusion fan, and you like the liberty is has, this will be simply great and you should definitely check it. As I mentioned before, all AltrOck releases are high quality material and you can buy them without any fear.
Now, if you’re like me, and you just can’t stand Jazz Fusion… pass along, cause this will not be your cup of tea.

The band was included in our Podcast #30 and you can listen 'In Between' HERE.

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