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ÜBERFALL

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Switzerland


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Überfall biography
Überfall" ("Hold-up" )is Swiss jazz-rock band founded by sax player Marcus Stauss and keyboardist Pit Kayser.

Markus Stauss was born in Basel in 1954 and was graduated as school music teacher. He took some musicianship training from local renowned musicians (flute and sax). Later he started working as music teacher and lecturer for Free Jazz and Rock .

Starting from early 80-s, he start playing music in different local bands (Trio Infernal, City 6-tett, Gezeiten Orchestra). Since 1988 he collaborated with American free funk and noise scene musicians (Dimthingshine (dr), David Moss (dr, voc) and John King (g)), and started to record music under the name "Ulterior Lux". Jean Chaine (b) from Vermont/U.S.A. became his steady musical partner.

At the same time he founded free-rock/funk band "Überfall" (keyboard player Pit Kayser and drummer Andi Muckenhirn are another regular members). Band played more rock oriented music with some vocals (in German), few guest musicians participated in some albums recordings. The band recorded four studio albums ( only possible from Fazzul Music on LP).Only in 1994 CD compilation album was released.

After "Überfall" was disbanded, Marcus Stauss continued to record solo works as well as play with bands (Spaltklang, Ulterior Lux,Q4-Orchestra,etc).

Überfall official website

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ÜBERFALL discography


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ÜBERFALL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
... In alle Ewigkeit
1986
0.00 | 0 ratings
Neuschnee
1987
4.00 | 1 ratings
Nr. 3
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
Next to Silence
1991

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ÜBERFALL Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 2 ratings
So Uferlos Im Abendwind
1994
3.00 | 1 ratings
Treasures
2010

ÜBERFALL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ÜBERFALL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Treasures by ÜBERFALL album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2010
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Treasures
Überfall Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
3 stars Some treasures from Switzerland!

This is the second album I listen from Überfall, a band that consisted on three members: Markus Stauss on sax, Pit Kayser on keys and voices, and Andy Muckenhrin on drums. They were together for some years in the 80s and then disbanded in the early 90s, however, last year (2010) the name of Überfall appeared once again, due to the release of an interesting album in which one can appreciate the music they created when they were together.

"Treasures" was an excellent choice for a name, and I truly believe they do consider each and every song featured here as a treasure. Now I will quote some words written in the first page of the CD booklet that describes what you will find here: " an anthology of happy little dancing tunes offers dramatic sarcasm, frightful facts and resistance against standardization. 1984-1991" So now you could have just a slice of an idea of what is it about, the bad thing for me here is that I cannot understand the lyrics, so I may not get their ideology, but well, what I enjoy here is the music after all.

This album released under Fazzul Music features fourteen compositions which make a total time of 70 minutes. What this Swiss trio (with some guest musicians) offers is a mixture of avant-garde, jazz, progressive rock, with some humor, complex compositions and weird sounds. Despite the songs here were composed several years ago (25 years, some of them) this is the first time that these versions appear on a CD, so here we have a kind of old-new album.

I love the mixture of sounds here, from the craziness of some tracks (Strahlen), the hypnotism of "Kulturbetrieb", to the gentle and charming musical passages created in "so froh", the powerful bass notes on "Überall", and the delightful and challenging songs such as "November" or "Total". Another good thing is that they managed to create music that share different emotions, sometimes it leads you to a moment of tension, while in other you are tranquilized.

The music is pretty rich and interesting, though there are a couple of songs that are not really outstanding, and I have to admit that the voice is not actually my cup of tea, the album in general is strong and interesting without a doubt. These three musicians did a great job, and it is a fortune for us prog rock fans that they decided to save from the nothing some of those "forgotten" treasures and give us a CD. This anthology is recommendable to any prog lover, especially if you like jazz and avant-garde music. My final grade will be three stars, (I normally don't rate anthologies or compilation albums with more stars).

Enjoy it!

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 Nr. 3 by ÜBERFALL album cover Studio Album, 1989
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Nr. 3
Überfall Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by maribor

— First review of this album —
4 stars 4.5 stars really!

After releasing two outstanding records that shined out of the 80s like a beacon of musical hope, Uberfall returned with their third album, simply called Nr. 3. It was hard to imagine that Markus Stauss and Pit Kayser could come up with something even better than previously, but that's exactly what they did. This album marks the peak of Uberfall's creative process, which is the case probably in no small degree due to the fact that the two previous albums laid the groundworks.

The album is made up of two sides (LP), which create quite a different impression. The first side is lyrical and exhibits their talents for sarcasm and great melody. In particular popular music takes a pounding here, as Uberfall carefully take it apart, bit by bit, so that they essentially end up with far better "dancing tunes" than pop performers. They also tackle the lyrical aspect. The words are overly optimistic and naturally full of sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek. The second side is purely instrumental and shows Uberfall as great melodic players, improvizers and composers. In terms of musical ecstasy this second side offers a bit more, but the album is at its most effective as a unity, when the contrast between both sides can be felt.

So what makes Nr. 3 so special? Perhaps it's simply the fact that everything came together and clicked on this one, when there still seemed to be some room for improvement earlier. Maybe both Stauss and Kayser matured as composers and the entire ensemble matured in their arranging and playing abilities, often denying themselves the pleasure of improvisational bliss for the good of the composition. That's exactly what shines here ? the "engineered" compositions, expertly crafted into flawless wholes, where the music flows effortlessly, but still follows a consistent train of thought. Therefore you basically have a very structured piece of work, which still retains a sense of fun and general craziness, so often exhibited by Stauss and whatever teammates he chooses. In a sense, you often get improvisations which seem composed and composed parts which seem improvised. Composition and improvisation have become inseparable partners,which fill the veins of one another, so that we can't tell them apart. This is due to the fact that the music seems to come effortlessly from these men, oozing from their veins onto their musical canvas, without any preconceptions about the sound of the finished work.

Uberfall are best when their music is filled with a sense of sarcasm. This isn't only due to the lyrics, which often convey a feeling of "taking a piss" out of the mainstream scene (not only musical), but their music displays this ambiguity just as convincingly, often through the use of over-the-top happy tunes, combined with really dark avantgarde passages and bursts of jazz-rock. Their music gives you everything on this effort ? it makes you laugh, think and consider which universe these guys came from, apparently finding a totally fresh approach and sound.

It was as if Uberfall had known what kind of record they were making. Not only did they grace us with their skills, but some exceptional guest musicians made their presence felt as well. Stauss got a fellow saxophone player, the violine sometimes chimes in with its gentle caress and another feature attraction is Stauss's friend Jean Chaine, who shows off his virtuosic bass skills. These addition give the album added weight and thus an unbeatable album in their discography was created.

For anyone who thought the 80s and early 90s were a dead zone for trully forward-thinking music, look no further than Uberfall and their one-of-a-kind album Nr. 3. Sure, they paved the way with their two previous albums, but this is the one where everything really comes together in a string of brilliant, yet lighthearted compositions. If I were to look for a place where the genius of Markus Stauss starts (with help from mostly Kayser), then it should be with this record.

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 So Uferlos Im Abendwind by ÜBERFALL album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1994
3.33 | 2 ratings

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So Uferlos Im Abendwind
Überfall Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Interesting jazz rock from Switzerland!

Nowadays, if you are looking for progressive rock from that European country, you will probably find a project in which a very talented musician called Markus Stauss is involved.

This is the case of this jazz rock oriented trio named Überfall, which was formed in the mid eighties, they released four studio albums and then disbanded in the early nineties, but anyway, in 1994 the band released this compilation album entitled "So uferlos im Abendwind", (don't ask me what it means), and it comprises some representative songs taken from their studio albums, so here you will find an excellent introduction to this interesting band. This album feature 15 and a total time of 73 minutes, so yeah you will have more than an hour of enjoyment of this jazz (but avant-garde) band. The members of this trio were the above mentioned Markus Stauss, playing sax, additional keyboards and other extra instruments, he also provides the vocals to this band, Pit Kayser who was in charge of keyboards and also vocals, and Andy Muckenhirn who played drums. It is important to mention that there are guest musicians in some songs.

Despite being the same band, there are tracks that are completely different, though they do not miss the band's essence, that jazz sound prevails in each and every of their songs but in some of them there is a gently, exquisite and more melodic sound, though in others there is a crazy, challenging and more complex style. For example track no. 4 "Happiness" reflexes what its name suggests, so it is a funny and really enjoyable track, the sax work is excellent; but in the other hand you can appreciate a track like no. 5 "Kulturbetried" with a nervous mood some kind of dark atmosphere.

The music in general is excellent, though I have to admit that there are some tracks I less enjoyed or didn't like, and I must say that the vocals are not my cup of tea, I also must admit that I cannot understand the lyrics, but anyway I prefer the instrumental offerings.

My favorites are "Happiness"; "Uferios"; "Eiszeit" which is a very interesting song where you can appreciate an outstanding bass sound, excellent drums and extraordinary keyboards. All in all is a great album, more pros than cons, and an excellent way to get into the band, now I believe their studio albums are only available as LP, so this compilation one can be the best choice.

As I usually do in this kind of compilation albums ("best of"), I will give it three stars; recommendable to any prog rock fan, worth checking out. Special thanks to Rok and Markus.

Enjoy it!

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 So Uferlos Im Abendwind by ÜBERFALL album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1994
3.33 | 2 ratings

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So Uferlos Im Abendwind
Überfall Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by maribor

4 stars Uberfall is a Swiss band which was active at the end of the 1980s and the start of the 1990s. Seeing as it is Swiss, it's natural to assume that Markus Stauss would be involved and you wouldn't be wrong to think so. Markus again plays a vital role in the music of this avant-garde jazz-rock trio and actually contributes some vocals as well (he even raps on "Nah und fern").

"So uferlos im Abendwind" is in fact a compilation of their first three studio efforts. The compositions were all done by Stauss and Kayser and a lot of them are based around synthesizer themes, which is a peculiarity for Stauss's projects, but a refreshing change nevertheless. The prevalent styles are avant-garde and jazz-rock, but we also hear hints of cabaret, funk and even pop. It's hard to compare this music to anyone else, but I would say that the dark mood and vocals on some pieces remind me of early 5uu's with Curt Wilson on vocals. Still, for the most part this is impossible to classify because it sounds so fresh, new and original even today. It is dark, humorous, positive and sophisticated at the same time.

As I've said, the band occasionally delves into pop music, but it is fairly obvious that they're making a satire of it rather than glorifying it. This can also be seen in the lyrics, where they mock the casualness of pop music. Even though pop is the last thing they want to do, it's clear they do it really well as the melodies are immensely strong and the playing very compact. If mainstream pop would sound so sinister, wacky and playful at the same time, I'd gladly listen to it. As it is, a parody of it is that much more convincing. But don't think this is all this album is. This is only a small portion of it, specifically some of the vocal parts, which are scarce as it is. This is highly clever music, which doesn't take itself too seriously. It's too clever to be popular (and that is its purpose) and also not so directly comical or accessible to appease the masses. Their purpose has therefore been achieved.

Although a compilation, this is a very worthwhile purchase as the studio albums are only available through Fazzul Music on LP. If you want something unconventional, amusing and highly imaginative, look no further. And don't let the fact that the lyrics are in German deter you from delving deeper into their music. For the most part the album consists of instrumental sections, which overshadow the vocal segments, even though they're not obtrusive and actually provide entertainment and fit in really well. It's an advantage if you understand the words because they can be quite clever and sarcastic, but it isn't a necessity in order to enjoy the music. In any case, another album that should be sought out by any fan of experimental yet accessible music.

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