Passive/Aggressive

Heather Leigh – Unsettling intimacy

English Kritik December 8 2018 heatherleigh

Heather Leigh: Throne (Editions Mego, 2018) – review by Ivna Franic.

If you’re at least somewhat familiar with Heather Leigh’s music − be it by way of the stunning 2015 album “I Abused Animal”, her recent duo with Peter Brötzmann or especially her earlier, live-recorded material − you would be forgiven to be slightly taken by surprise by “Throne”’s opening lines. “You’re so interesting”, enchants Leigh on “Prelude to Goddess” in an almost possessed manner, following with similarly mundane lines such as “there’s something special about you, the way you flip your hair”. The lyrics and their vocal interpretation become increasingly ambiguous and eerie soon enough though, naturally putting any causes of possible confusion into a rather different perspective.

“Lena” picks up and expands on any uncanny signals from the opening track unveiling the epic scope of tracks to come as well as the full range of Leigh’s powerful vocals, its chorus ominously swaying over the rest of the song. “Scorpio and Androzani” conjures a heavy nocturnal atmosphere to be taken even further by the stunning “Soft Seasons”: this one-part drum-machine beat and guitar-led track, and one-part airy acoustic song makes for a peculiar combo of hazy stoner trip-hop and blissful, almost pastoral folk. The 16-minute epic “Gold Teeth” eventually gets washed up in distortion, while the closer “Days Without You” is the closest Leigh gets to a conventional chorus of a true pop gem.

The press release describes Throne as Heather Leigh’s “first best pop record”, which is of course to be taken with a grain of salt: although there are definitely more melodies and hooks here than on any of her previous releases, the songs barely ever follow the common pop structure. This results in a unique fever-dream mood permeating the record, creating a highly vivid feel that is at the same time both surreal and disturbingly realistic. There is a narrative quality and cinematic aura to most of these songs that makes them easy to imagine as a series of movies, with the dominant feel being that of drifting through nocturnal landscapes of small towns, picking up on different stories, characters and settings along the way. Where “I Abused Animal” seemed profoundly confessional at times, “Throne” feels more like a collection of vignettes on fictional figures and episodes from their lives.

The occasionally unsettling lyrics are coated in a somewhat more approachable sonic landscape than before, with the vocals + pedal steel skeleton of Leigh’s stark previous album now expanded to include a synthesizer and a drum machine. As always, there is something carnal about Leigh’s music and lyrics, certain uneasiness to reflections on intimacy and lust, a slightly creepy eroticism (if you will) which she makes alluring. And the pop inclinations of “Throne” don’t take away any of its bleak charm − in fact they even seem to enhance the goth feel of Leigh’s loose but intense noir americana ballads, making for a distinct, bold record that sounds unlike anything else you’ve heard this year.
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Peter Brötzmann Octets “Machine Gun” – På jazzens slagmark

Kritik August 12 2018 booklet (1) brötzmann

The Peter Brötzmann Octet “Machine Gun” (Oprindeligt fra 1968, genudgivet på cien fuegos, 2018) – anmeldelse af Morten Østergaard Rasmussen

I 1968 samlede den unge tyske jazzsaxofonist Peter Brötzmann syv af den nordeuropæiske jazzscenes mest lovende musikere og dannede The Peter Brötzmann Octet. Senere samme år udgav oktetten sit eneste album, “Machine Gun”, på Brötzmanns eget meget kortlivede label BRÖ, der umiddelbart efter udgivelsen af albummet blev lukket ned med kun to udgivelser i bagkataloget: “Machine Gun” og Brötzmanns eget debutalbum “For Adolph Sax” fra 1967. Nogle år senere blev begge albums dog genudgivet på det noget mere succesfulde pladeselskab Free Music Production, bedre kendt som FMP, som Brötzmann også selv var en del af. Desuden blev Brö også genoplivet som et ‘imprint’ under Eremite Records i 2003 med en række af Brötzmanns nyere duoindspilninger. Læs resten

Barefoot Records – 10 år under radaren (interview)

Feature October 29 2016 IMG_8054

Af Simon Christensen

Det kompromisløse improvisations- og avantgardepladeselskab – og kollektiv – Barefoot Records fylder 10 år og fejrer det med en minifestival til december. Det ville være en underdrivelse at sige, at Barefoot befinder sig under radaren, for langt hovedparten af deres udgivelser vil være ukendte for de fleste musiknørder her til lands. Læs resten

Peter Brötzmann – missing some passion and a political discussion

English Feature April 23 2013 brotzmannafniklasvindelev

Af Simon Christensen. Foto: Niklas Adrian Vindelev.

Den europæiske freejazz’ førsteelsker. Den tyske jernlunge fra Wuppertal og manden bag “Machine Gun”, Peter Brötzmann, er en hyppig dansk gæst og har også spillet med flere danske musikere. Med tiden nyder den nu 72-årige saxofonist anerkendelse ikke bare for sin betydning for freejazzen i Europa (contra den amerikanske skole) dengang, men også i dag hvor han fortsat er med til at tegne jazzscenen med såvel romantiske som brutale brøl gennem instrumentet.

P/A: What do you cherish about your collaborations with The Wild Man’s Band (Peter Friis and P.O. Jørgens)?
P/B: Beside all the musical abilities those two gentlemen have to offer over the years we developed a kind of distanced friendship which is rare in our field of music.

P/A: You have played in all kinds of formats of course, but what do you think about the duo-format with fx Paal Nilssen-Love, Nasheet Waits, Han Bennink?
P/B: Drums are the soul. The guts of the music, the drummer always was and still is the most important guy in the band, means – I often don’t need somebody else. It gives you all the freedom you need , it forces you to be concentrated every second and you have to put whatever you have into the conversation/fight. Læs resten

Brötzmann og fee finsk free – en ensembleartikel

February 4 2013 peter

Af Frederik Denning

I februar kommer legendariske Peter Brötzmann til Danmark og spiller med Johs Lund og P.O. Jørgensen. Først den 7. februar hos LJUD i Aarhus, den 8. februar på Mayhem og dagen efter på Huset i Magstræde. P.O. Jørgensen har spillet med Brötzmann gennem en årrække under navnet The Wild Mans Band, normalt med el-bassist Peter Friis Nielsen. Sidst gruppen spillede i Danmark leverede de et regulært brag af en koncert. Med Johs Lund på sax i stedet for Peter Friis Nielsen karakteristiske el-bas kan man forvente en endnu mere jazz-puristisk lyd og formentlig mere voldsomme eksplosioner i koncerten. Koncerterne er selvfølgelig absolutte must-see’s (dem alle), som det er, hver gang Brötzmann er i landet, hvilket han er igen den 4. april, når han spiller duo med den måske vildeste aktive trommeslager lige nu; Paal Nielsen-Love. Det bliver absurd, så sæt kryds i kalenderen.

Men nu var det faktisk ikke mit ærinde. Egentlig ville jeg anbefale noget finsk freejazz, som ligger i en naturlig forlængelse af den europæiske scene, som netop Brötzmann etablerede fra slutningen af 60’erne og frem. Læs resten