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Spaltklang Surprise album cover
3.97 | 4 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Inmitten
2. Überall
3. Patterns
4. Sadness
5. Irgendwo
6. Spuren
7. Flammen
8. So weit das Auge reicht

Total playtime: 54'00''

Line-up / Musicians

Markus Stauss: saxes
Stephan Brunner: electric bass
Oliver Vogt: viola
Rémy Sträuli: drums & keyboards

Releases information

CD: Fazzul Music,fm 0821 (Switzerland)

Thanks to snobb for the addition
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SPALTKLANG Surprise ratings distribution

(4 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(75%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SPALTKLANG Surprise reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Wonderful album!

When I wrote my first Spaltklang review I mentioned that this is a band that I've been listening a lot for the last couple of months, and I have to confirm it, because I keep listening to them with the same enthusiasm I had when I got their albums. The fact is that the more you listen to their music, the more you are addicted to it, the reason: awesome music.

This Swiss quartet has developed some of the most exquisite instrumental avant-jazz I've recently discovered, so please if you can, get their albums, or at least start with one. This is their second effort released in 2004, and so far I may say my favorite Spaltklang album. It features eight compositions and a total time of 53 minutes.

The first song is pretty important because it introduces you to the music, so if a first track is good, then you will keep listening; I mention this because the first composition entitled "Inmitten" is one of my favorite tracks on the album, I believe they chose a perfect starting song, full of colors and textures, with great mood and music changes and different elements that together create a superb song.

Next is "Überall", a fast track that will make you move your body, the rhythm maintains you expectant all the time. I really like the bass sound here because in my opinion it produces a great but dark atmosphere. A minute later some strange change appear with electronic sounds reminding me to some sci-fi films, if you close your eyes you may feel in space, in another galaxy. Later violin appears and mark the beginning of a new structure that little by little arises.

"Patterns" is an excellent track that since the very first seconds will catch your attention, maybe due to the repetitive yet addictive sound it creates for more than a minute, then it slows down and create a tranquil atmosphere where the instruments are playing some random notes. A couple of minutes later the music explodes and some kind of chaos appear (I like chaos) and will put a smile on you. The saxophone sound is especially great.

"Sadness" starts very slow, I assume the music has to do with the name of the song, that is why that soft sound prevails, and a disarming atmosphere is created. After minute three there is some kind of tension, like if you felt despair of reaching a goal. Then the music slows down again and follows the same path until the very end.

"Irgendwo" seems to continue with the same feeling that the previous track had, this is actually a difficult song because you are dragging the last song mood, so with this you may feel even tired in some moments, but if you are patient enough, then a couple of minutes later you will have your reward. I like how they managed to create different moods in one single track. The last couple of minutes show the musician's skills and create a challenging sound. Great progressive song!

Again the bass sound is a highlight for me, in this song entitled "Spuren" which is another of my favorite tracks here. The repetition of the bass sound does not bore me, on the other hand, creates a true addiction, but the good thing is that the addiction does not restrict me of appreciating the other instruments, so I can easily enjoy each member's work, because all of them together complement each other, if one of them fails, then the music would not be the same.

"Flammen" is another great example of the great musicianship, the quality of the four members of the band and their abilities to compose first-class music. This eight-minute track transports you to another world due to the complexity of the music and the different nuances it produces. I really like the work of the saxophone sound here, but well, as I've mentioned, this is a complete quartet where the four people have the same importance.

And last but not least, "So weit das Auge reicht" which starts slowly with the violin but it gradually progresses until becoming in a strong and really interesting track. Again the changes within the structure are noticeable and challenging, the drums are especially good here. Minutes later they combine the electronic (spacey) elements with the distinctive Spaltklang sound (violin, sax, bass, drums) and end this album in an excellent way.

My final grade will be four stars, easily. If you manage to get their music, it won't let you down, believe me.

Enjoy it!

Latest members reviews

4 stars Closer to 4.5 stars! After a fabulous debut with Alpenglühen, Spaltklang returned two years later with their sophomore album entitled Surprise. The album's musical content in itself isn't a surprise, but it is surprising how much beauty and compositional skills are hidden within Markus Stauss's ... (read more)

Report this review (#302916) | Posted by maribor | Saturday, October 9, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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