Sunday, 23 April 2017

Album Review... Knall - Raubkatze auf 12 Uhr

Tonzonen are an interesting label and are responsible for releasing some of my favourite albums of the last couple of years.  In particular, The Spacelords last 2 studio albums  and more recently, Sounds of New Soma's 'La Grande Bellezza'.  Both offer up similar approaches to the same spaced out Krautrock/Kosmische vibes in terms of attitude, and around the instrumentation used, but deliver them in their own unique manner.

Label mates Knall are something else.  I was totally blown away by the last release 'Alien Funk', so much so I had to double check that it was in fact a live album; the recording was immaculate, almost  inaudible crowd sounds and music so tight you'd think it took months of layering in a studio.  As was said then, thats the genius of Knall.  The band take their music and the bare ideas for a song and let it expand, the music evolves further from every time the band play.  What you hear on these studio sessions will be something far bigger and more realised when you hear it live; taking the idea of improvisation and jamming to new levels.

'Raubkatze' takes a single note and builds through the addition of a simple bass noodle, introduces a slow tempo funk drum pattern and lets it flourish from there.  By the time the track hits the 8 minute mark, it has exploded into brain melting, psych-injected space rock almost without you realising.
'Derwisch' carries on the flow but offers urgency and intensity within the guitars and swirling sounds that run with the pulverising drums.  Coming in at 15 minutes long is 'Fell', a looser track than the rest of the album, lavishly forged with spaced out sounds, funky bass and guitar licks, it locks itself in to a groove and keeps on going.

'Sightseeing' provides another example of psychedelic space rhythms and sounds developing over ever evolving drums and jazz inflected guitar work.
'Catwalk' is stylistically different, electronic bleeps and patterns bubble through fuzzy tones and Way-Wahs in a laid back manner.  Like 'Fell' this is another track that shows the more improvisational aspects of the band.  Album closer 'Lachs' once more demonstrates how Knall can take a sparse opening such as the clean guitar sound here and shape it into a funky intergalactic psych piece, simply through layering and measured introductions of each new section and instrument within the track.

Raubkatze auf 12 Uhr dazzles with every note.  As a snapshot in time for the band, it shows rich tones and funked up rhythms from another dimension; the added promise that what you see here is not what you're going to get when these tracks are played out live, makes the record even more intriguing and appealing.  The Ltd 2x purple vinyl is available via Tonzonen's online store, grab one while you can.

Highly Recommended.

Knall Bandcamp

Knall Facebook

Tonzonen Records

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