30 Jahre Traumzeit
New 13 track album from the German instrumental trio who remain one of the great undiscovered bands of modern progressive fusion, and this album only serves to enhance that reputation.
Just electric guitar, electric bass and drums, they manage to convey everything good about what used to be called "jazz-rock".
The 6+ minute opener "Zündfunke" sets the scene, with a pattern of twisting and turning vari-paced melodies, where the guitar player really sizzles. Against an undercurrent of gently pounding bass, he takes the piece into territories that conjure everything from Ash Ra Tempel's first album to Gary Boyle's Isotope band, with touches of lightness that swirl and drift, to huge sounding fuzzed-up heat and all points in between. That he manages to keep melody after melody going in turn, is a testament to the consistency of playing he achieves. Meanwhile, the drummer is the heartbeat of the track, wildly swinging and providing the variation in rhythms that this demands, recorded superbly so that it never sounds anything other than powerfully resonant. "Das Ryker Manöver" accelerates the tempo with a fast driving sea of stinging guitar lines against bass that rumbles up and down the scale while the drumming thumps away and the guitar is both low down and dirty plus soaring to great heights. The 5+ minute "Mysterious Masterplan" starts quietly then the guitarist slowly gathers a head of steam to flood out into the ether before then dropping back to a drift, the whole effect very much like early "Krautrock" from the seventies as a track that straddles cosmic intensity and beautiful delicacy, is an absolute joy to hear. The 8+ minutes of "Moshi Moshi" sees the guitar work predominantly set at the higher end of the scale as a flowing set of notes, chords and melodies is delivered against a backdrop of stop-start and almost crunchingly funky rhythms, in this case the guitar tending to maintain the same mood throughout the track rather than giving it too much variation. The near 5 minute "Rücklicht" has a superbly choppy rhythm that's almost Can-like while the bass is solid but restrained and right upfront, as the guitar work starts slowly then builds with some growling melody and the whole thing slowly flows into one of the best tracks on the album, the guitar work eventually igniting then dropping back to the brooding menace that runs through the track.
The 5 minute "Traumzeit" gives the chance for the guitarist to do his Boyle/Mclaughlin bit and notes pour out of the guitar like solar flares as the bass grumbles, the drums hammer away and the whole thing goes super nova. The next three tracks, growl, roar and go funky respectively, all with the band absolutely tight and every facet of the playing making a valuable and upfront contribution, so that, on repeat plays, you're always noticing something different, "Der Tanga" featuring a particularly wicked bass line. Through four more tracks, two short, two lengthy, then band just dives into their craft with the zeal of a trio who knows how to produce music with muscle, melody and magic without putting a string or beat wrong. Overall, it's fiery, it's accessible, it's multi-mood music on a higher plane and riveting from start to finish.
Andy Garibaldi - Gee-Force 2. November 2018