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   Groove Galaxi: Interstellar Hi-Fi Patrol: Release Information

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Release Date: 01.04.2002
EAN/UPC: 705304144527
TT Catalogue No: 4457

A formation whose groove is making deep furrows in the earth takes off into orbit. Groove Galaxi has done what no other band can claim. After the surprise coup of their first album, praised by critics and laymen alike, they don't just put more coal on the fire with their second album, but set off from a completely different point to land a brand new coup. Hats off.

The terms Groove and Galaxi actually stand for two completely contrary principals. The first heavy, earthy, magnetic, pulsating, incorporating tradition, coaxing an optimum of intensity out of the moment; the other visionary, cosmic, negating space and time, bound to eternity. Groove Galaxi have proved with their debut album that there is no one in Germany who can keep pace with their groove. Quickly, and with lasting success, they have blossomed into one of the very few German club bands that don't have an odor of being provincial, small-town, or imitative clinging to them. With their open-structure/open-sound, avalanche-triggering jazz and groove improvisations they have set a counterpoint to the sound escapades of New York groove pioneers Medeski Martin & Wood that is as much self-assured as it is cunning. With "Interstellar Hi-Fi Patrol, however, they are first of all setting a counterpoint to themselves. This time the musicians from Hamburg quite obviously put the accent on the second half of their band name and float away with their listeners in an intergalactic trance.

But let's recapitulate one more time: Groove Galaxi started as a trio in 1999 with saxophonist Stefan Kuchel, organist and keyboarder Markus Kuczewski, along with drummer and sampling specialist Sönke Düwer. "Nothing is more frustrating than imitating other bands", explained Düwer already then, not suspecting that he would soon be bored with persistently beating out his own path. After releasing "Groove Galaxi" the band toured incessantly, gathering new experiences, and experiencing various spiritual and personal transformations. The trio became an open solar system with Düwer and Kuszewski as its double fixed star. Kuchel didn't just change into anti-matter, but continued to send important signals as an external element of the group. Groove Galaxi are open to every possible expansion of their context. They have transformed themselves from a structured band into a whole way of thinking, a principle of life.

On the one hand they orient their compositions and improvisations on ambient, drum n'bass and other contemporary electronica, giving width and depth to their foggy spirals. On the other, they call up associations to the music of Miles Davis in his early electric period and to Herbie Hancock right before the Headhunters. Their music is not as much electric as it is electrifying. And if they're still consciously working out musical contrasts on "Groove Galaxi", in the mean time they can blindly rely on the free flow of their intention. Consequently is "Interstellar Hi-Fi Patrol" not only a trip to endless spaces of sound galaxies never before made audible, but tunes in on a flow of consciousness that hasn't been heard in German jazz since Peter Bröstzmanns early albums.

Düwer and Kuczewski prove right on the second track of the album that they still know how to question themselves in their very own self-made system. After staking out the micro- and macrocosmic orbits of their sound with the opener, "Zen Vier", they abruptly change style with a laid-back jazz ballad, "Good Reasons", sung by R&B oriented chanteuse Elizabeth Thompson, only to dissolve this immensely creative and stimulating confusion and return to their original sound concept with the question "Did U Save" on track 3. Guest trumpet player Stephan Meinberg plays a significant role in the songs' ethereal intensity and the sophisticated level of collective improvisation, a definitive part of the contemplative bridge to Miles Davis.

"Interstellar Hi-Fi Patrol" is jazz, science fiction, ambient, easy listening, futuristic folklore, none and all of the above. But mostly it's an interstellar platform from which Groove Galaxi can go forth into not only every thinkable, but - more importantly - into every unimaginable, completely unknown quadrants of the sound and groove universe.
Wolf Kampmann

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