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- Echohaus by Felix Kubin & Ensemble Integrales
8/10 Brian Staff review, 24 February 2011
One of the most charming week-a-day nights out i've had in recent memory was a trip to see Felix Kubin at a local club. The man just oozed European cool & had a proper classic showman's gait; a genuine air of the intellectual entertainer. I especially loved the fact he'd brought a selection of DIY films along with him, made by friends, fans & collaborators as backdrops for his twisted android electro pop. This CD is not electro though. There would be very little point in interspersing the tracks on here with any witty, surreal dialogue. This is a sort of free jazz/experimental improv album. Not a squawky sax-tastic face-fuck but a ponderous, spacious thing full of implicit frequencies, anonymous scrunch, minimal percussion, meandering discordant strings, abstracted prepared piano &, when rhythm is called for, the kind of woozy metronomic cymbals you'd get on a sleepy Tortoise record. As far as improvised music goes, this sounds like a genuinely interesting, absorbing release. He's got a serious all-star cast involved here has Felix. Real talented players deconstructing musical forms in a truly exploratory, wild & fascinating style. Yes, some of it does sound like a band falling down the stairs (then to be shoe-horned all the way back up again wrapped in huge elastic bands, only to be booted all the way to the bottom again!!) but given that 80% of modern alternative rock i'd like to kick down said flight of stairs, it's total fun to hear Mr.Kubin & co.'s approximation of my fantasies. Compulsive stuff, especially the seriously unnerving chamber classical piece 'Bande Vierge'!
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