Monday, June 1, 2020
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Artist: Bohren & Der Club of Gore
Title: Dolores
Format: CD
Label: Ipecac recordings (@)
Distributor: Play It Again Sam
Rated: *****
Patton's label Ipecac is known for scouting interesting pearls of music from across the globe, as in the case of Bohren & Der Club of Gore, a German quartet that definitely plays their own unique version of lounge jazz and slow doom without guitars, if you can believe that. Bohren has been around since 1988 and their debut release dates back to 1994. Ever since then, they've been stripping down their sound to less and less, removing the guitars and adding a saxophone (which doesn't come in right away and surprises you with all its Lynch/Badalamenti atmosphere and melancholy).
Their eerie and gloomy musical creations feature nothing but drums, organ, vibes, Rhodes, piano, sax and lots of reverb and venture down in the 20-25bpm range, about as slow as it gets (you can basically go get a coffee between the kick drum hit and the following snare hit). They reverse-engineer and deconstruct doom metal into this light (in sounds) but still heavy (in moods) blend that almost sounds like a cleaned up and completely undistorted and un-fuzzed version of Sleep, Thergothon, Boris or Sunn O))). Sinister but soothing, hypnotic and mysterious, depressing and enlightening Bohren plays without a doubt some of the most original music out there. Some have called it "horror jazz" (whatever that means), but make no mistake, there are no brushes (although some multi-rods), there is no swing and there are no seventh or major ninth chords here: "Dolores" is almost entirely in minor chords, and although there are identifiable melodies, they take a step back to let the overall moods shine in the dark light of "Dolores".