Monday, 11 April 2016

Uli Harmssen and Jochen Voss in More Than Two (Germany 1986)

A very soothing painting on front cannot prepare you for the computer-geek appearance of the musicians on verso-- made especially jarring by the New York advertised on the white T-shirt.  I know this kind of so-called 'organic jazz' bores some to tears, but in direct relationship to how interesting it's been made, it appeals to my ears from time to time, certainly, when the later P.M. hours are coming up on the yawning clock.  What we have here is a duo with multiple overdubs, obviously, mostly light electric guitar (some acoustic) with saxes (soprano with a bit of alto).  The compositions are quite strong, and it reminds me of Hahn and Nockes there.  The tendency to drag on with tedious strumming, always a magnetic impulse for the guitarist's autopilot sense akin to the Monarch butterfly's powerful migratory instinct to head to Mexican resorts in the fall (interestingly still a mystery to science, as well as tourists in general) is here abated to the utmost.  It's true, there are times when the mind wanders off to other things such as the paradox of why Romanian women can be so attractive (and their country so awful), and why, in my nation, they are admitted in easily at the immigration ministry in the category of skilled workers-- as strippers, but in general this album proves to be a delightful find, costing no more than a palmsworth of crisp clean lowest-denomination bills depending on how cheap or aroused you are.

The first and title track is superb, the recurrent lulling three note pattern being adjusted to different chords is quite admirably clever, somehow inherently suited to a lullaby (a good ex. to me of how abstract musical patterns evoke emotions due to their inherent structure):

In particular note that they are not averse to pulling out a digital keyboard or two in order to break up the head-throbbing monotony of too much guitar strumming, e.g., the last track called Digital Love:

Really, I recommend listening to this on the old-school big-ass earmuff headphones your mother used to hate and your wife now detests, the clarity and beauty of the sounds come through just impossibly perfectly, not to mention the cancellation of all extraneous yelling...

This duo made another album earlier called Mother Nature Father Harmony.  Kind of too new-agey?  Another style that really got a bad rap after its height and is today kind of reviled.



    Franklin Street Arterial from bandmember, Ed Agopian on soundcloud (thanks to ST JAMES for the link!!):
    (limited time only!)

    1. sorry missing one track, viz the first

    2. It's fitting that we are in search of in search of.
      thanks for both of these

    3. I don't think it's missing though, for these reasons
      1. the first track from discogs here, the seeker, is 12 minutes long, suggesting he stuck 1 and 2 together
      2. the rest of the album is here, 7/8s of it, why would he leave off one track
      3. the total time is 40 minutes, a normal LP length, though wouldn't be surprising if it were longer
      4. that track the seeker has a division at 5 minutes with the drum solo where it completely changes tactics, sounds like two different tracks
      Anyways I'll ask my friend who owns the record, about it and get back to you