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The Köln Konzert

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Album Review

Jazz legend Keith Jarrett's classic solo piano album The Köln Concert gets a radical electronic reworking at the hands of England's Vert. This album takes pieces of Jarrett's most distinctive vamps and phrases, buries them deep in digital signal processing, and combines them with a healthy portion of original material, providing an absorbing glimpse at the melodic heart of the original record. But while the commentary and referencing are intriguing, no prior knowledge of Jarrett is necessary to enjoy what Vert has concocted. Certain processing techniques here are reminiscent of Autechre, though Vert's approach is consistently song-oriented, with respect for melody and traditional meter. The most breathtaking moments come when Jarrett's melodic themes, instantly familiar to fans of his record, are hidden beneath digital detritus and then unveiled slowly, gaining clarity and poignancy with each passing bar. "Part Four" is a fine example of Vert's thematic shell game, as a two-chord piano vamp is filtered, combined with gurgling electronics, and then layered over gentle drum programming. "Part Five" uses one of Jarrett's melodic motifs even more beautifully, as the theme begins enshrouded in deep aquatic processing and sheds layers to emerge as naked piano. Both conceptually creative and sonically exciting, The Köln Konzert is a remarkable achievement.


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

Vert is the name that England's Adam Butler gives his musical projects. Butler's music is rife with the theoretical underpinnings common in electronic music's glitch scene, in addition to being texturally dense with post-Autechre processing. But a strong melodic sensibility sets Vert apart. Because his music is generally listenable and immediately engaging, Vert remains a good starting point for those curious about the abstract side of the Idm equation. The first Vert release was a jungle-inspired...
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The Köln Konzert, Vert
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