Genre: Post Rock / Avant Rock
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Kammerflimmer Kollektief – "Schemen"
Before reason prevails, invoked by those who want everything to remain as it is, Kammerflimmer Kollektief disrupts the established supply chains of sound. It seeks more interesting ways to assemble them. Trusting in this, because of the fact that every sound that still comes out of a guitar, a bass, a harmonium, drums and electronic devices has already been taken into the common mangle of meaning anyway. Enough of all that. Here, nothing is explained. Here we speak in schemes. Polished and jerky.
The images that Kammerflimmer Kollektief conjures up therefore happen not in the focus of consciousness, but rather in its outer realms. In those to which one does not give one's full attention at the moment, but which are nevertheless perceived. For example, when a leaf falls from the ground back up to the tree in the corner of your eye, and for an instant you think this is possible, before you realize it was a small bird flying into the tree; it is in just such irritating moments between perception and realization that the art of the Kollektief also unfolds. On "Schemen", familiar fragments float gently around their core – a Fender Rhodes tone, a bass figure, a guitar motif, a masterful drum shuffle, a moment of icy stasis borrowed from the harmonium playing of Christa 'Nico' Päffgen. Triggering brief associations, they slowly rush off in other directions through free jazz-informed editing work, whereupon such zones can also arise in which perception has a few tricks ready and earlier experience suddenly breaks into the now in a completely different way. Half suspected, half seen.
Half-music like Can from Cologne – also masters of improvised editing – sometimes produced a few decades ago in their in-between moments. The first minutes of "Future Days" for example, which fade in gently, sketch a barely graspable figure emerging from all directions of the room. Kammerflimmer Kollektief also engages in similarly open moments of development. Loosely, it eludes the first formative impressions, keeping itself ready for moments that do not follow any logic of appointment. This looseness in handling makes Kammerflimmer Kollektief so fluidly audible, even when dissonant peaks and free playing arise. What Karlheinz Stockhausen is to Can's understanding of composition, the recordings of The Cocoon are to Kammerflimmer Kollektief. The Cocoon, a meeting of garage psychedelics from the Hannover area with free jazzers from the Galaxie Dream Band, whose album "While The Recording Engineer Sleeps", recorded in 1985 in unguarded moments, operates in a very similar way with decentralized perceptual ambivalences and only appeared more or less secretly four years later on Wilhelm Reich Schallspeicher. Other traces of "Schemen" lead to the debut album of Quicksilver Messenger Service. The guitars of Gary Duncan and John Cipollina, which refer to themselves in an unforced manner, are instructions to let go. They don't want to be traced in every note as a solo, but they give their music a sense that the essential takes place off center, in the mutual and intuitive gift of loving attentions. Consciousness-free.
Loving turns like the little guitar phrase that, like a kind of leitmotif, is repeatedly ghosting more or less unchanged through all of the Kammerflimmer Kollektief albums. A Coricidin induced, very catchy slide idea filtered out of ancient Æther, which – who knows – maybe even centuries ago found its way from somewhere to America – the old, the eerie – and from there wafted on through the ages to southern Germany, to a smoky studio in the Upper Rhine lowlands. A memory of which even the memory no longer knows what it once reminded. Unsaid, then forgotten.
In Kammerflimmer Kollektief you will also find a friend of slowly building, unhurried music, which probably would have been appreciated by the old Franz Mesmer, who 200 years ago, after tranquilizing treatments, sometimes used to play for his patients ambient melodies on the enormous glass harmonica. However, in order not to surrender completely to the flow of one's own life energy, as Mesmer had in mind with his therapies, Kammerflimmer Kollektief occasionally adds hectic tensions, gently embraced by the droning of a sine wave generator, as if a trance could briefly refesh. This old analog sine wave generator is new in the Kammerflimmer assortment of sounds. So, the art of the Kollektief likes to dock occasionally in modern times, yet with the past in mind. Mental states begin to flicker between imagination and certainty, between culture-bound art expression and coincidences: A cawing and scraping can always just be a cawing and scraping with Kammerflimmer Kollektief, the way Andy Warhol's mushroom eater just eats a mushroom.
Heike Aumüller's cover works, which illustrate all the Kammerflimmer Kollektief albums, additionally act as amplifiers of unexplained refractions. Her style consists of eye-corner art that remains so, even when looked at directly. Her shots remain disquieting because they do not jolt themselves into a reassuring order, even in retrospect. Rather than evading the fear that arises when looking at them by trying to impose some irrational rhyme or reason, that fear must simply be endured. This strategy of endurance is equally applicable to the music. The trick is to let parts be parts without compulsively seeking delusional patterns that lull us into a false sense of security and in doing so, possibly delude ourselves. In this context, freedom means not having to anxiously attach a fantasized superior meaning to everything. "Schemen" has an conspiracy disintegrating effect. –Werner Ahrensfeld