Kammerflimmer Kollektief – Jinx (Staubgold)


While so many symbols seek to expel negative forces, Germany’ Kammerflimmer Kollektief opt for Jinx, the mythical bird who heralds bad luck, as the emblem for their sixth full length effort. The trio don’ merely offer the albums title to the evil creature as a sacrifice, but as though in an act of baptism, dip the whole album in its colors, rendering its skin serried, its will one set on rituals, challenges, and the reversibility of so many signs caught up in the play of jazz, folk, and ambient music. The inclusion of Heike Aumülle’s throaty voice makes this logic most apparent. Her devoted moans, trills and banshee-like wails act as a wash of blood bringing color to the crunching cacophony of squealing strings, scouring amp buzz and scratchy clicks and stutters. Her other appearance on the equally delightful ‘Both Eyes Tight Shut’s helps bring about another alchemical fusion, another amniotic soundworld, where ritual holds sway over all of the serendipitous highs and quirky noodlings. Aumülle appears to get lost in the transfixing repetition of her own beathy chanting, and as though seduced, the other musicians themselves creep into darkling electroacoustic storms.

The other pieces display a more prominent earthy feel than that of their previous work, Absencen, which, though itself of a certain devilish charm, employed it within a cinematic realm. There is the psycho-active bursts of electronic interference, needling their way through expressive horn swells like so many rays of sunlight. On ‘Nest’s and the title track, the rhythms and choice of pitches grow increasingly brash, while the pings and coded chirps conjure a keen sense of trees and water, gravity and escape. Also of a this-worldly bent, the strange swayings, tongue slaps and suitably forceful pecussive effects that mark ‘Gammler, Zen & Hohe Berge’ reveal a technical playfulness, again suggesting that this world is ordered by ceremony and not the good-natured soul of yesteryear. A crafty, slightly cruel mindset therefore continually assesses the parameters of composition, sussing out their fissures, and performing many a potent spell in their ruins.

Max Schaefer


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