Kammerflimmer Kollektief


The Kammerflimmer Kollektief plays music, which should not be written down, for it would scorch the paper. The project, whose music meanders between precision and freedom, has been founded in 1996 by Thomas Weber. Up to now, the Kollektief has released nine albums. Live performances all over the world are realized as a trio with Heike Aumüller and Johannes Frisch. Bang that head that doesn’t bang!

The art of the Kammerflimmer Kollektief is deception. It is a persuasive and seductive art, resulting in incorrect assessments and doubtful perceptions. It is an art of disorientation and misdirection.

The Kollektief guides you through an unfathomable Terra Incognita, where a listening space emerges at the intersection of improvisation and composition, a space where certitude slips out of reach, jouncing incessantly between precision and freedom, oscillating furiously between cut-up and palimpsest – and, just when you think you may have pinned it down, disappears altogether.

Clear articulated comprehensibility is definitively not one of the aims of the Kollektief’s sign systems. Rather, it masters the ancient art of secret-keeping, and it does it in times in which everyone reveals all of their intimacies without asking the rest of humanity whether or not we’d like to know them. The Kollektief clips musical and cultural fragments out of their cultural frameworks and pieces them enigmatically together. They have worked on this amalgam of  Psychedelica, Free Form, Dub, Improv, and ritual activities for a long time. These elements are gradually connected and placed in an opaque, vertical system, about as (non-) coherent as the constitutional laws of an alchemistic proto-science can be. The Kollektief takes only what is of use. And what is of use has usually a mythical crux.

One thing is clear when it comes to the Kammerflimmer Kollektief. Regardless of any interpretive traps snapping shut, or the conceptual penetration of apparently pre-conceptual musical factuality: here is something which cannot be voiced: avant-garde, improvisation, psychedelia, whichever labels are stuck on the Karlsruhe collective, they all feel patently unsatisfactory. Like all music, their music can neither be narrowed down to concepts nor fixed semantically. It cannot be organised as language, with a sound or image corresponding to specific points observed by sender and recipient alike, yet it is no more pre-conceptual in the sense of: first come the conditions of music, then one learns to discuss them. The Karlsruhe artists practise other-conceptuality. This is cata-language. Music from who the fuck knows where.

Kammerflimmer Core Unit
Heike Aumüller: harmonium, synthesizer, vocals, artwork
Johannes Frisch: double bass, low end extemporisation
Thomas Weber: electric guitars, electronic devices, arrangements & edits


What the press says:

»It should be clear that founder Thomas Weber’s commitment to precisely executed sonic freedom and what Robert Musil termed “daylight mysticism” is still intact. (…)  A kind of distorted grandeur, like Karlsruhe after a thunderstorm. (…) There Are Actions retains much of Weber’s childlike ability to plug away at a meaningless sound until it means something and to live with an absence of fixed stylistic identity so long that it becomes a kind of perverse self-confidence. The sound, too, might be thought to reflect Erikson’s unusual heritage: bright and clean from one perspective, gnomic and mystical from another. No identity crisis in the KK studio. After ten albums, Weber seems content to take his own wonky pulse. And ours.« ~ Brian Morton, The Wire

»Impossible to escape the German lineage of Krautrock, post-industrial and Kosmische, the Kollektief often evoke the folkloric mysticism atmospheres of Dance Of The Lemmings and older Amon Düül II albums, Faust, Einstürzende Neubauten. But they also stir up the most experimental of European jazz, esoteric Americanna, avant-garde and Godspeed You! Black Emperor influences too. Yet they conjure ghostly apparitional manifestations both imaginatively disturbing and dreamy, and entirely their own. TAAWWHNAWNCTCU is a topography of not only real historical, literary places but also feelings, emotions; a deep suffusion of enigmatic intelligence.« ~ Dominic Valvona, monolithcocktail.com

»Weber and his bandmates deliver soundscapes and patchwork constructions that flow in and out of themselves from multiple angles. As a meditation, the beginning is the end and the end is the beginning. What we are left with can best be described as a location that one can visit as much as listen to. Rich with sonic imagery, it is both immersive and haunting, like exploring a shipwreck in deep water. The listener moves through its structure as the souls who reside within offer their passing glances with knowing smiles. Knowing what is up to you.« ~ Craig Judkins, Commodore (ret.), The Commodore Room

»Graceful in its contradictions, somewhere between the warm hues of a Daniel Lanois soundscape and the gnatlike movements of European free jazz.« ~ New York Times

»An embrace of life in the midst of sorrow.« ~ All Music Guide

»Going  to extremes seems to be their current working ethos; the trio from Karsruhe on treasure hunt for the beautiful moments in a world falling apart.« ~ Michael Engelbrecht, Deutschlandfunk

»Diese Musik könnte die eigenen vier Wände sprengen. Eine Klangreise zwischen genialer Kalku- lation und waghalsiger Improvisation.« ~ Rafik Will, junge welt

»Brilliantly realized stuff, curving in ultra-radiate, highly contemporary shivers of pure brilliance (…) double bass flickers and the sequinned light of Moroccan finger plates« ~ Michael Rodham-Heaps, freq.org.uk

»Das Kammerflimmer Kollektief ist nicht nur eigensinnig, sondern auch musikologisch versiert. Neun Alben erzählen von dem erfolgreichen wie faszinierenden Versuch, aus durchaus bekannten und zu identifizierenden Zutaten wie Kraut- und Post-Rock, Electronica, Improv, Jazz und Dub eine Melange zu bereiten, die die Namen der Zutaten beim Hören gleich wieder ausstreicht und eine weitgehend referenzlose Musik erschafft.« ~ Ulrich Kriest, Konkret

»Few artists ever reach the milestone of a 10th album, but Kammerflimmer Kollektief has just joined this elite group. Even rarer is the act whose 10th album comes across as something strange and new, wild and enigmatic, sending off sparks rather than mere fizzles. (…) Désarroi is a spectacular achievement from a band that continues to get better with age.« ~ Richard Allen, A Closer Listen

»It’s a marriage of free jazz and slavishly regimented digital tuning (which is one of the few places their nationality comes into play, in their enjoyment of kraut-indebted computerized textures). Bending nationalities into atmospheric pieces that blur distinctions between geographic lines of music, (their music) transcends simply being a German band’s ode to the world around them.« ~ Sound in the Sand

»Everything is so terrifically unexplained. That’s what these songs are like – sound rises up from nowhere and disappears, the melodies are unfinished and in minor keys. It’s a strange fusion of smoky, Lynchian jazz, odd ambient music and eerie, disembodied voices.« ~ 17dots

»This is fragile music at its extreme. Slowly, delicately and with much care, they take you on a journey to a far away land of music that is as imaginary as it is authentic.« ~ Gazeta

»Kammerflimmer Kollektief’s sound is enormous and mysterious, perfect for the dark or the veiled and shady corners of every city.« ~ Brainwashed

»Epic soundscapes dotted with detailed intricacy.« ~ The Wire

»Disclocated dense music rife with clandestine connotations.« ~ de-bug

»It’s a marriage of free jazz and slavishly regimented digital tuning (which is one of the few places their nationality comes into play, in their enjoyment of kraut-indebted computerized textures). Bending nationalities into atmospheric pieces that blur distinctions between geographic lines of music, Wildling transcends simply being a German band’s ode to the world around them.« ~ Sound in the Sand

»Man spürt in jedem Moment, dass diese Menschen schon eine geraume Zeit zusammen Musik machen. Nicht nur fügen sich die einzelnen Elemente innerhalb eines Songs immer wieder erstaunlich perfekt ineinander, sondern auch über die Länge eines ganzen Albums spannt das Trio einen sehr beeindruckenden Bogen. Diese Spannung wird gerade durch den Wechsel zwischen komponierten und improvisierten Passagen aufrechterhalten, da man weder in der Eintönigkeit einer im Pop häufig geforderten ‚Durchhörbarkeit‘ hängen bleibt, noch sich im selbstverliebten Muckertum verliert.« ~ testcard

»Es wird der Eindruck vermittelt, das hier mit Konsequenz und Leichtigkeit freier Jazz, ungefähr der Marke Pharaoh Sanders und Cecil McBee anno 1969, in einen Kontext transformiert wird, in dem er auf Pop und Elektronik trifft. Was vom Postrock verhießen wurde, improvisierte Musik jenseits von Genregrenzen zu entwickeln, könnte das Kammerflimmer Kollektief verwirklichen.« ~ Felix Klopotek, Spex

»Die unmäßige Energie, die in dieser Musik steckt, bricht nicht aus, bleibt immer Ahnung und Andeutung. Die fehlende Explosion, diese unterschwellig bleibende Ekstase, ist zu milder Schwermut geronnen. Dennoch ist die Musik unmittelbar versöhnlich und zugänglich, niemals bitter oder bösartig. Selten war eine Musik so unverschämt reich, so überschäumend, so widerspenstig im Detail und gleichermaßen auch so dunkel, so sentimental, so gefühlig, so unmäßig sehnsüchtig.« ~ Frank Eckert, Spex