»THERE ARE ACTIONS WHICH
WE HAVE NEGLECTED AND
WHICH NEVER CEASE TO CALL US.«
CD, LP, DL; ltd. tape edition and 8-track: sold out!
Out: 21. September 2018, Bureau B
Designed and produced to satisfy the most extreme demands!!!
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
»This time around it’s all fuzz and bombast, a beautiful excursion into abrasive textures and dramatic turns. (…) Despite the atheist tag, there’s a great feeling of spirituality in these grooves, which flow seamlessly from drone to improvisation to jam. Everything seems to have a form, but the description of the form is elusive. Every once in a while, the music tumbles ~ intentionally, we’re sure ~ into a clear segment of melodic whimsy. “Lucid, Imperial Beach” earns its title only in the last minute, perfect timing as it makes the listener strain and yearn.
The title implies rituals left undone, sacrifices to old gods, unattended buttons, obsessive-compulsive repetitions. Are we safe without them? Is it wise to neglect them? The sawing turmoil of “Discharged, Quauhnáhuac” is like that of an unsettled mind. But then it’s followed by the loveliest passage on the album, dotted with squeaking like that of a child’s toy, and benign whispers. The current trio is full of reconciled contradictions. If the band were to sing, this is where they would do it. Feel free to sing if you want; there’s still time, a window of peace between disasters, a lullaby of harmonium and guitar.
As darkness descends once more, it does so in memory of light. Things are not as bleak as the cover implies. Look closer. Still closer. No ropes are visible. The figure on the front seems to be hanging by his or her own intention ~ either imitating persecution or drawing on the power of the forest. We’ve forgotten so many of these rituals that we’re unable to recognize them at first sight. The seven songs, referred to as seven actions in the titles and seven stations in the liner notes, hearken back to the original seven stations of the cross. Who then is hanging on the tree? And who has the power, the hanger or the hanged? As in the infamous Tarot card, the hanging may simply mean inversion, a purposeful change that looks negative but is actually positive. The trio invites us to reevaluate our suppositions, to return to our initial impressions and to ask if they still hold true.« ~ Richard Allen, acloserlisten.com
»Kammerflimmer Kollektief is one of my all-time-favourite bands. Three years ago I praised their last album Déssaroi as their best so far, I even called it a masterpiece. Revisiting it now, I’m still fascinated by it’s psychedelic atmosphere, the angular, atonal improvisations, and their “free ambient“ approach in general. The bar for a new album was set really high.
Kammerflimmer Kollektief is still Heike Aumüller (harmonium), Johannes Frisch (double bass) and Thomas Weber (guitar, slide, electronics, loops), There Are Actions Which We Have Neglected And Which Never Cease To Call Us is their tenth album in 20 years – and while Dessaroi was their freest album, this is their darkest one. Aumüller’s vocals are gone and Frisch’s bass is less free this time, he rather contributes to the overall gloomy atmosphere. The seven tracks refer to different cities around the world, many of the pieces deal with death, dysfunction and decay. Imperial City and Bolinas are both in California, the first a surfing stronghold and the setting of the surf noir series “John from Cincinnati“, the second the place where Richard Brautigan, one of Weber’s favourite writers, died. Quauhnáhuac is a fictitious city in which Malcolm Lowry’s “Under the Volcano“, a novel about self-destruction, takes place. Ermenonville in France is famous for its landscape park named after Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who spent the last six weeks of his life there. Hamburg is a reminiscence of Bernd Schoch’s documentary about the corner pub “Kurze Ecke“ in St. Pauli, which has closed in the meantime (the band has written the theme song for the film).
The key track of the album is the first one, ‚Lucid, Imperial Beach‘, a perfect example of the juxtaposition of beauty and chaos in Kammerflimmer Kollektief’s music. The piece starts with an unpleasant scratching in front of a dark drone, which leads into a guitar feedback. Then the track almost dies, but it starts again, this time with a simple melancholic melody on the harmonium combined with atonal guitar strumming. After six minutes one of Weber’s typical slide guitar riffs appears, for a short moment a certain loveliness becomes audible, but not for long. Aumüller plays atonal patterns on her harmonium, Frisch just knocks on the strings and the body of his bass, Weber scrubs erratically on his guitar. Nevertheless, the ending is rather conciliatory, because the slide guitar riff turns up again (it’s the leitmotif of the album, returning in two other tracks as well).
There Are Actions ….. is like a retrospective of Kammerflimmer Kollektief’s works, a summary of how they transform styles – as German critic Felix Klopotek puts it: blues becomes doom, folk becomes new music. The boisterous free jazz approach is suspended in ambient sounds. This could end either in cheesy sound painting or in intellectual, oblivious conceptualism, however it’s of the utmost warmth, emotion and clarity because their structures are transparent and crystal clear. One reason for this is the fact that Kammerflimmer Kollektief’s music is very recognisable, Thomas Weber’s guitar sound and Heike Aumüller’s harmonium are unique in their combination.
There Are Actions ….. is grave, comforting music that takes you by the hand and can lead you through the jungle of your soul. Kammerflimmer Kollektief’s compositions are an intense implosion, a deep melancholia, in which free jazz is just an echo of a different time.
One last word about the excellent artwork: Most of their album covers are designed by Heike Aumüller, often they are in the tradition of artists like Cindy Sherman recalling a long tradition of self-portraiture and theatrical role-playing in art. The cover on There Are Actions … is new (but on the basis of an older picture), it reminds me of the first season of the series “True Detective“. Like the music it’s beautiful and unsettling at the same time.« ~ Martin Schray, freejazzblog.org
»Eén van de leuke dingen van het in 1996 door Thomas Weber opgerichte Kammerflimmer Kollektief is hun continue drang te experimenteren en nieuwe wegen te (onder)zoeken. Dat levert niet alleen mooie resultaten op, het heeft er ook voor gezorgd dat de groep tegenwoordig over een compleet ander geluid beschikt dan ten tijde van hun debuut Mäander uit 1999. De rode draad wordt gevormd door de jazz, alleen openbaart die zich steeds anders. (…) Op hun vorige, tiende cd Désarroi laten ze biologerende experimentele en abstracte muziek horen, wat hun beste album tot dan oplevert. Die lijn trekken ze nog wat verder door op met de recensie vullende titel There Are Actions Which We Have Neglected And Which Never Cease To Call Us. De 7 stukken hier vormen een caleidoscopisch avontuur waar jazz, freejazz, krautrock, psychedelische ambient, noise, drones en soms gewoonweg kakofonisch geluid de revue passeert. Ondanks dat het echt alle kanten uitgaat weten ze je tot het eind in hun bijzondere houdgreep te nemen, die zich met niets en niemand laat vergelijken. Alweer hun beste tot nu toe.« ~ De Subjectivisten
»Ah, ça faisait longtemps que je n’avais chroniqué un vrai bon gros WTF musical. C’est une thérapie pour moi, un lavement pour mes oreilles, ce chaos organisé, cette déconstruction sonore composée. C’est ce qu’une partie de mon âme recherche, un reflet de mon moi profond, celui qui cherche à s’échapper du carcan de mélodies dans lequel j’aime à l’enfermer. Enfin, bref, Kammerflimmer Kollektief est un sextet allemand qui se propose de façon tout à fait chevaleresque de mixer free jazz, musique expérimentale, noie et post electro. Ça vous a l’air improbable ? Eh bien certes, ça peut l’être parfois. Les titres sont cependant assez variés dans leur ambiance et ne manquent pas de relief ni de couleur. L’instrumentation y joue un rôle prépondérant ; des crissements de saxophone aux plaintes étirées d’un accordéon, de la profondeur de jeu de la contrebasse aux bribes électro et samplées peuplant l’arrière-plan, il y a du monde à voir. De la longue et chaotique Action 1 à la twin peakesque Action 7, on traverse des paysages de cinéma, tantôt arides et escarpés, tantôt crépusculaires et étouffants. Les différences sont subtiles, la musicalité du groupe l’est tout autant, mais on passe au final un beau moment, en-dehors du monde réel, et extrait de toute logique mercantile.« ~ adopteundisque.fr