Zodiak Trio: Acid: Release Information
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Release Date: 05.10.2012
TT Catalogue No: 4575
Zodiak Trio – Acid
Advanced chemistry instead of advanced culture! Acid: corrosive yet indispensable for industrial i.e. productive processes. Material is moved, dismantled and reassembled. Aggregate states change. That which once appeared to be solid and unalterable, suddenly dissolves in a hissing stream of steam. All this produces friction, heat and noise. The effort varies, at times it only takes a few seconds and then again, ten minutes may hardly be enough.
The Zodiak Trio from Essen is preparing to strike for their third time. But what’s with Essen? The trumpet player John-Dennis Renken and the guitar player Andreas Wahl still both come from that metropolitan city in the Ruhr region, which is renowned for its indecisive relationship to tradition and progress. However, the drummer Bernd Oezsevim set up camp in Berlin ages ago. That means the Zodiak Trio belongs to the currently extremely fertile Berlin – NRW axis which can also be described with groups like Grünen, Bellbird, Tobias Hoffman’s Fallschirme, Expressway Sketches and more. But the trio’s efficiency factor reaches far beyond the east-west latitude of German jazz events. The Zodiak Trio needs to be measured according to international standards.
Everything that was said about the last album, “Q-Train” released in 2010, applies to the new record, although there are a few essentially different accents. As always, it’s all about electric power jazz that breaks with any expectations and is spawned by a deeply honestly-felt necessity. But even in the midst of a breathless sprint on pavement full of oil slicks and splintered glass, the trio can let themselves fall into a hammock and unwind. Contrasts, opposites, sharp contours and demarcations are the unique characteristics of “Acid”.
Renken, Wahl and Oezsevim arrange a new meeting point. On “Q” they answer the question for us and for themselves as to how three individualists can be a band. Since then they have toured together a lot, but have also kept a distance from each other over longer periods of time. When preparing for “Acid”, they first needed to get in touch with each other again. The Zodiak Trio was still the Zodiak Trio. However the central question arose from the “Q-Train” diametrical perspective. Where is there room for three individuals in an entrenched band structure? If the last album can be described as a perfect sphere, then “Acid” is perhaps more of a triangle, in which all three corners are clearly carved out. The band uses the connecting electronic element considerably more subtly and allows trumpet, electric guitar and drums to function more directly as genuine sound generators. The constellation between the three musicians shifts in every piece. None of the songs fulfil what the preceding song might have promised. Peaks clash with expanses, sharp edges with soft curves. Magnificent melodies that almost sound like children’s songs alternate with transitory bodies of sound. The troika thereby successfully makes - in an intoxicating way - 13 completely different offerings of what the Zodiak Trio 2012 can be.
The title “Acid” is perhaps is somewhat misleading if one were
to translate it with psychedelic Sixties romanticism. The term “acid” here
is more of a synonym for the physical property of chemical etching or corrosion
caused by acids. Acid’s corrosion as a form of dissolution and material
changes. One can literally smell this music. The best example of this is the
title song which was the result of totally free improvisation in the studio.
It should be said that the entire album with
extreme tripolarity and narrative diversity was recorded in all of one and
a half days at the Traumton Studio. “We arrived at the studio, set up
our gear, had a coffee and got started”, Renken says, describing the
process of how well the band worked together having already rehearsed most
of the material
live beforehand. And the album sounds accordingly. After a few tracks it already
becomes apparent that none of the acoustic patterns, no matter how overwhelming,
beautiful or abysmal they may be, are so precious that one absolutely has to
hang on to them. The only thing that counts is the mood and capturing the moment
in which a specific idea manifests itself. The Zodiak Trio places its stakes
on the risky high speed of the creative moment. That’s what urban jazz
should sound like in 2012!