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Kammerflimmer Kollektief biography
It all began in a bright storage room of the Upper-Rhenish poet's museum in Karlsruhe in the mid-nineties: With old-skool equipment and an overdose of FMP & Wu-Tang, the first sketches of what would later be released under the nom-de-guerre "Kammerflimmer Kollektief" were conceived; the result appeared in 1999 under the titled Mäander on the Weilheim-based payola-label. A simulation of jazz with pop appeal (melodies!). "Instrumental drones & central European freakouts on violins and reeds. A kind of European down home NoWave" was what Matt ffytche in The Wire called it.

At first, a live realisation seemed unthinkable. As it happened, the people necessary for such an undertaking gravitated towards the Kollektief in a very short time and without having been summoned. They were Johannes Frisch on the double bass; Dietrich Foth on a variety of saxophones; Heike Wendelin on the violin; Michael Ströder on drums and Anne Vortisch at the synthesizer. The tracks of the first album were the point of departure for our joint excursion; the result was a concert tour and a huge and wild chaos, which in turn was documented at the Uphon Studio in Weilheim and released as a CD (Incommunicado, 2000, again on payola). It included "Venti Latir", a version of a song by Robert Wyatt, one of our great heroes and: one of the greatest soul singers ever. "Music is a chance for self development. It's another life, in which it's easier to develop the art of giving" - which is how John Stevens put it in the liner notes for Karyobin, the epoch-making first LP of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble from 1968. Felix Klopotek in German music magazine Spex, said it thus: "Listening to this music, it seems that free jazz as being played by, say, Pharaoh Sanders and Cecil McBee in 1969 has been put into a context where it meets and mingles with pop and electronics with consistency and effortlessness."

The third album, Hysteria, was released in Japan and the USA in 2001 and subsequently on Quecksilber in 2004. It was a hybrid of its two predecessors; a synthesis of solo work in the studio and a collective flush. Martin Büsser wrote about it in testcard: "As of now, I am not aware of any better interaction of jazz and electronic music as this brief but most sophisticated album of the Kammerflimmer Kollektief. In this crossover between the great Free Jazz-tradition (Alan Silva, early Charlie Haden), Kraut- and free form-rock (Third Ear Band, Neu!) and the blurring of sounds of This He...
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KAMMERFLIMMER KOLLEKTIEF top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
4.00 | 1 ratings
2.75 | 4 ratings
4.00 | 1 ratings
3.23 | 7 ratings
4.00 | 3 ratings
4.00 | 1 ratings
Im Erwachten Garten
3.80 | 5 ratings
4.00 | 1 ratings
0.00 | 0 ratings
0.00 | 0 ratings
There Are Actions Which We Have Neglected and Which Never Cease to Call Us

KAMMERFLIMMER KOLLEKTIEF Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)


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

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


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Jinx  by KAMMERFLIMMER KOLLEKTIEF album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.00 | 3 ratings

Kammerflimmer Kollektief Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Guldbamsen
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

4 stars Daylight Mysticism

This band is without a doubt my new favourite 'post-rock' outfit. Not that I think they've got anything to do with the genre, but still.... Kammerflimmer Kollektief are to underground German music, what Acid Mothers Temple are to Japan - well at least they should be. Stitched together by numerous of experimental musicians playing everything from viola and cello to harmonium, saxophone and double bass - the music here is anything but dull.

If you visit the band's homepage, you'll get a fair idea about this sonic collective in their own introduction - going like this:

"Delire goes marchin' in, desire for ever...

The Kammerflimmer Kollektief plays music, which should not be written down, for it would scorch the paper. The project, whose music meanders between precision and freedom, has been founded in 1996 by Thomas Weber. Up to now, the Kollektief has released eight albums in all sorts of line ups. Live performances all over the world are realized as a trio with Heike Aumüller and Johannes Frisch. The Kammerflimmer Kollektief is emotive and impassioned. It is also as lucid and precise as those moods which Robert Musil (who is above suspicion of being a romanticist) called "daylight mysticism". The lyrics and the music want to be heard, they want to be explored, even suffered. Sound builds songs which are made of sounds, and yet there are no longer songs."

Apart from the little mistake in regards to album count(these guys are now on their 9th record), this little intro should preferably say a thing or two about the nature of what is going on here - what the music tries to accomplish and the whole esoteric nature behind it all. For me personally, I immediately thought of Krautrock, when I first read that - the spiritual kosmiche idea that also at one point got written down in what looked and felt like a proper manifesto. On here with Kammerflimmer Kollektief, the feel of the music is somewhat different. Even so, they still want to generate a link between the arts - care for music in a way that surpasses ordinary words and gestures - again much like the Krautrockers of yesteryear.

That is one link they've got in common with their musical heritage, but that's not all. The actual music here strongly echoes bands like NEU!, CAN and perhaps an acoustic take on the droning and floating Berlin School of electronics. This is just done through unorthodox usage of cello, viola and that hovering harmonium.

NEU! happen to be the closest in nature to this band - at least that's what I personally think. Jinx is an album that feeds off a similar vibe - one that leans on the naive and floating - making music in a way that exudes ease and natural flow. I've seen this quality described elsewhere on the net as free-jazz, and while the instruments are what you'll most likely find in a jazz band constellation - I'd much rather compare what's going on here with the old masters of calm natural and naive Krautrock, NEU!. Some people might call the music droning, and sure you do get a long array of stretched out surfaces of sound - much credited to the harmonium and string instruments that achieve an eerie almost levitating vibe, but on top of this - the music goes in all directions. Jazz or maybe anti jazz, electronic meanderings, strange saxophone utters and an uncannily wild and adventurous touch of viola that will have your feline friends climbing the walls...

The CAN link is something I hear in the sparse vocal attributes, where you get served with some frail and stuttering female mumblings - never really singing or speaking - just doing those wordless vocalisations that made Damo Suzuki stand out from the rest of rock n roll's feverish front-men.

All in all Jinx is a highly imaginative album, that more than adequately introduces the listener to the brilliantly unorthodox world of Kammerflimmer Kollektief. People who've had enough of those endless crescendos and build ups this genre usually spurts out like a bulimic volcano - you lot should dive straight into this band's wonderful discography. I promise you, you won't regret it!

One of the finest discoveries I've had this summer. Daylight mysticism? It's when you pop this mother on the old stereo rack - open up the terrace doors and start inflating balloons in your favourite silk kimono.

 Absencen by KAMMERFLIMMER KOLLEKTIEF album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.23 | 7 ratings

Kammerflimmer Kollektief Post Rock/Math rock

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is a mellow, slow paced and relatively melodic avant-garde album by the German chamber orchestra called Kammerflimmer Kollektief. As a genre this is probably nu-jazz, though the music has some electronic & soundscape elements. I don't know how I ever found this band, but somehow this album stuck by me. To bad it has one of most unpleasant album covers ever and I don't see how the music is represented by it.

In the music of Kammerflimmer Kollektief the textures of the standing bass by Johannes Frisch are usually upfront. The light jazz drumming of Christopher Brunner is also recorded in great detail. Usually the band creates a soundscape layer with strings or with electronics and disturbs it with light free-jazz influenced wind instruments. The band also experiments a lot with using instruments in non-conventional ways, which creates many woody and metallic sounds that add an organic touch. Most songs represent single atmospheres that are developed shortly, without ever introducing new melodic themes within the composition.

Whilst this is a pleasant album, full of interesting warm & mellow free-jazz performances, it often fail to come to a certain point or idea. The albums as a whole does have enough variety and by combining these snippets the band could have easily created tracks that sound more finished. The production of the album is very good and music listeners that are exceptionally moved by rare sound pallets and textures are sure to find something of interest here. For fans of nu-jazz, avant-garde, chamber music and perhaps - in a minor way - post-rock and krautrock.

Thanks to avestin for the artist addition.

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