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Album Review

The fact that there's a song on here called "Soft Machine" might betray both a specific literary and musical background on the part of the German band. Overall, there's certainly a sense of collapsed, understated jazz about Kammerflimmer Kollektief's 2011 album, bursts of bass and distant piano and quiet singing seeming more to suggest a jam or late-night performance than fully bring one to life. With shimmering echoed surf/twang guitar, rolling background electronic chug, and lovely, fragile vocals from Heike Aumüller, the album starts off with moody promise with "Coricidin Boogie." The basic pattern shifts into further melancholy and mood, as the barely there melody of "Never Collapse, Always Dazzle!" provides a bed for open-ended U2-on-downers riffs from Thomas Weber, all while compressed sounding demi-chants, distant howls, and tense tones in the background continue on. "A Different Karmic Thermal," with swells of distorted strings, provides the closest thing to a straightforward performance, and beautifully so. Meanwhile, "New Ghosts" is almost all faraway textures in overlapping flow and silence, vocals wafting in close then falling away again, building to an intense midsection as the singing gets more stretched and strained while the music swoops up and holds in volume. The instrumental "Teufelskamin Jam #1" provides an alternate focus, scraggly howling solos introducing more aggressive noise against the calm float as Aumüller's voice disappears entirely (though it reappears on the shorter, more uptempo "Teufelskamin Jam #2").

Biography

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

Originally starting out as a one-man bedroom recording project of ambient noises and electronica for Thomas Weber, Kammerflimmer Kollektief would eventually expand into a six-piece collective by 1999. Along with Christopher Brunner, Dietrich Foth, Johannes Frisch, Anne Vortisch, and Heike Wendelin, the band would play throughout their native of Karlsruhe, Germany, before signing a deal with Payola Records in the year of their formation. This resulted in their 1999 debut full-length, Maander, and...
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Teufelskamin, Kammerflimmer Kollektief
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