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Spaltklang - En Suite CD (album) cover





4.00 | 4 ratings

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4 stars Excellent album from this Swiss quartet!

Fortunately, the music of Spaltklang was introduced to me recently, and in the last month I am sure this is one of the bands I have listened the most, the reason is simple, they are great. This is a quartet from Switzerland, led by a prominent musician named Markus Stauss, who has worked with other bands such as Überfall or Finnegan's Wake, he is an outstanding sax player. But besides him, the band consists on Stephan Brunner on bass, Olivier Vogt on viola and Remy Sträuli on drums and keyboards.

So far they have released four albums under the Fazzul Music label, their latest one is entitled "En Suite" and released last year (2009). It features eight songs and almost an hour of great, jazzy avant-garde music.

The album opens with a one-minute introduction called "Amuse-bouche" with only some sounds that will open the gates to "Von Anbeginn" which in the other hand, is the longest composition here. Since the first seconds the saxophone appears and its delicate sound will make you feel comfortable and interested. A couple of minutes later the song changes and a new structure appears, now besides the saxophone, the viola takes the baton. Let me tell you that Spaltklang's music is completely instrumental, and if you want a label, I would say that here you will listen to a delicious mixture of jazz with rock in opposition.

"Heartbeat" starts with viola and then bass and drums join, a minute later sax enters and together begins to construct a strong front, a great structure. There are moments where all of them greatly interplay and create a friendly but challenging mood. The bass sound is excellent here.

The title track, "En Suite" is a twelve-minute song full of colors, textures and different nuances. Despite the instruments are the same all over the song, the musical elements are pretty varied, I love how they interplay and create complex sections where one can easily appreciate their musical abilities, they are for sure trained musicians. These twelve minutes divided in different sections will put a smile on your face.

"Ideen" starts softly with a delicate violin sound, however a minute later it changes and becomes faster and complex. One may think that in a band like this, sax and viola are the obvious leaders, but no, all of them are equally important, put attention on the exquisite bass lines and the always accurate drum playing and you will understand what I mean, though at minute five there is an outstanding saxophone participation.

Next one is "Evocazione", it is curious that the names of the songs are in different languages, and it is not only on this album, but in the previous ones as well. This song starts again softly with a calm rhythm that later will receive some changes, musically and environmentally, so you can take advantage of the richness of sounds and elements that the band offer.

In "Open Directions", the sound of the viola in moments reminds me to Mahavishnu Orchestra, though here there are neither guitars nor violin. This is another shorter song whose sound may be pretty alike to the previous tracks, however they all are different. The short passage where a disarming viola appears is exquisite. And the album finishes with another short track; "Molto Lento" concludes this quite interesting release. As the title suggests, the rhythm is quite slow, which does not mean it is boring.

Put attention to Spalklang's music, they are great, I highly recommend the band, and this album to you who like Jazz and RIO, and prog rock in general. My final grade is four stars.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |


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