Welcome to the world of zvuKlang! Hey ho!
This CD is certainly not the first you have ever held in your hands. You might even think that is yet another of those CDs, you know, a vocal-quartet-and-piano-freely-improvise-in-a-contemporary-art-gallery kind of album, you’ve got plenty of those in the basement, or attic, wherever you keep those. Poor man’s imitation of Phil Minton meets Cecil Taylor or something. Well, it is not. Make no mistake about it. Whatever the influences there were, they underwent total meltdown, and the stuff turned out completely original. One can feel the musicians gave it their best, these voices and these piano stings are likely to keep ringing in your head long after the last track reaches its happy equilibrium.
In case you were wondering, “zvuk” means “sound” in several Slavic languages, and “Klang”, you guessed it. The title refers to the fact that the recording was made by a German quartet and a Russian pianist. Germany and Russia are known to have been in a complicated reltionship since time immemorial, and certainly there were some cultural repercussions of that fact. But this album, if anything, is a glorious example of another line of thought. Granted, everyone has been born by a woman and everyone dies alone, but what happens in between is very much the question of what you yourself make out of it. And if it is zvuKlang that you make, then zvuKlang it is. It certainly is the stuff of life. Give it a listen now, before the Gespenstern (that’s ghosts) get you.
The music starts out rather quietly, and, while not shunning savage wailing, it manages to keep the sheer amount of detail throughout, so you may benfit from listening to it at a relatively high volume, although your household members may not approve. Unless you are lucky to have converted them.
1. Now 16:36
2. Hey ho 7:16
3. zvuKlang 12:51
4. Angst vor Gespenstern 9:42
5. Equilibre 10:36
Alexey Lapin – piano
Norbert Zajac – voice
Brigitte Küpper – voice
Gala Hummel – voice
Iouri Grankin – voice
Recorded live at GES-21 June 11, 2013, St. Petersburg
CD LR 690
EUROPE JAZZ MEDIA CHART – MARCH 2014