Luxatio. CD Review. UK. Jazz Views. November 2015

VocColours & Eberhard Kranemann: Luxatio

Reviewed by Ken Cheetham

Leo Records 2015, CD LR 720

Norbert Zajac, voice; Brigitte Küpper, voice; Gala Hummel, voice; Iouri Grankin, voice; Eberhard Kranemann, double bass and electronics

VocColours is a German group which has bonded completely with the intentions and directions of vocal improvisation and is able to call upon and sustain entire successions of locutions, gestures and a variety of links all conveyed by a seemingly endless gamut of metiers, styles and techniques.  VocColours brings an astonishing capacity to vocalization in the context of improvisation and in Luxatio, Kranemann joins the quartet, contributing aesthetic variations via bass and electronic effects.

Eberhard Kranemann’s history falls back to Kraftwerk and his playing frequently with drummer/percussionist Paul Lovens, prominent in the field of free jazz and improvisation.  Music apart, Kranemann also contributed the cover art, his colourful, abstract painting.  Interestingly, VocColours’ foursome have to a degree worked from the material of Berio in the sense of creating scene paintings.  This Luxatio piece bears another resemblance to Berio, as the framework for the relationships between the vocal parts seems redolent of a method he had used and likened to that of an onion’s layers.  Each is discrete, yet intimately contoured one on each other.

My only distractions throughout my listening were the sometimes harsh and guttural sounds from the male voices, somewhat dark in comparison to what otherwise felt like a mystical whole.