Music Reviews

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Artist: Kammerflimmer Kollektief
Title: Teufelskamin
Format: CD & Vinyl
Label: Staubgold
Rated: *****
"Teufelskamin" ("Devils Chimney" in english) is Kammerflimmer Kollektief's ninth album (sixth on the german label Staubgold). Although a follow up to the trio's best offering so far (last year's "Wildling") and thus a work of great expectations, this long player deserves nothing less than flattering comments, as it features 10 carefully crafted pieces of KK's hybrid sound, a sound that ranges from free-jazz, psychedelic and post-krautrock to neo-folk, ambient and experimental electronica. Starting with the dreamy "Coricidin Boogie", in which the reverbed guitars of Thomas Weber (founder of the group) are blended perfectly with the ethereal vocals of Heike Aumuller, "Teufelskamin" continues in calm waters with the percussive beauty of "Never Collapse, Always Dazzle!", to unleash tension on the excellent improvisational "Teufelskamin Jam#1", a 10+ minutes glitchy track, in which Heike's keys and Thomas' guitars and loops become one, creating spooky soundcapes of a unique organic feel. "Shangrila" could be a wonderful pop song if it wasn't surprisingly... short (1:43!). "Soft Machine" is dominated by Johannes Frisch's bass and it is very atmospheric, like "A Different Karmic Thermat", a melancholic piece of pop (and one of my favourites in this record). "Teufelskamin Jam#2" is weird and stressful, being a free jazz improvisation, while the instrumental "Nearly Able To Fly" is a fine example of experimental ambience with jazzy touches. On "New Ghosts" the trio's flirting with noise, as Thomas drops high doses of abstract electric guitar and Heike's singing sounds at places like a female... Johnny Lydon. The album concludes with a short tweaked lounge track with the significant title "The People United Will Never Be Defeated".
Kammerflimmer Kollektief have cooked (with a little touch by the devil himself?!) a really great album which grows and grows with every listen. Highly recommended not only to the fans of Can, Robert Wyatt or early Pink Floyd (some obvious references), but to everyone who has lust for real music, made by real instruments by real people. Available also on vinyl, go grab it in your prefered format.

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