Science Fiction Theater: Dolly Shot: Release Information
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Release Date: 06.09.2013
TT Catalogue No: 4587
The theatre of artistically celebrated clichés
Science Fiction Theater "Dolly Shot"
Star Trek, Space Patrol Orion, Barbarella or Perry Rhodan? For several years now, there has existed a soundtrack of a special kind for friends, fans and adversaries of trashy SciFi-Entertainment; for some as a confirmation, for others as a form of conversion. The “good old days” sometimes bring forth great new things too: the Science Fiction Theater from Zurich!
The intro to the U.S.-TV series Science Fiction Theatre probably seemed as exotic and exciting to the viewers in 1955, as the new CD Dolly Shot from the band of (almost!) the same name sounds to today’s listeners. Fantastical, futuristic devices; music that is just as coaxing as it is menacing. With these Pulp-Swiss however, you have to be prepared when suddenly a Chewbacca followed by (Johnny) Rotten disturbs the sixties idyll or when Captain Kirk unexpectedly materializes next to Lino Ventura in a Citroën DS.
This quintet has developed from a trio playing a steady gig in Zurich and after five years and several changes in the line-up they have now been in the current formation since 2010, when they turned some local fun into universal seriousness. Just like the “Frogs” put the world into a flurry in the sixties, the debut album Pimp Town has now, almost 50 years later, alarmed the jazz-critics. This is followed by Dolly Shot: surf and soul, eays listening and avant-garde-jazz, synth-chirping and spoken word-samples, rock, punk, movie soundtracks without a parking permit. A colorful bunch is assorted on this disc.
This is the captain of the postmodern spaceship speaking, Christoph Grab: “I was socialized in the eighties with rock and punk. At the same time I was fascinated by the cinematic and narrative qualities in music.” The saxophone-professor from Zurich was impregnated by trash, science fiction and crime thriller movies of the last 100 years to such an extent, that he and his band involuntarily and constantly manage to leap into this parallel universe. However, his participation in numerous other projects of all sorts prevent him from getting entangled in it. “The other bands have more of an influence on the SFT than the other way around. Only maybe when I play these typical Casio-melodies in a soundscaping-improvisation, might the others give me a strange look now and then.” His musical crew, Felix Utzinger/guitar, Christian Rösli/keyboards & laptop, Valentin Dietrich/bass and Andy Wettstein/drums, contributes many ideas, sometimes to the surprise of its captain: “Some pieces turn out totally different than intended; live we also handle the composed material very freely. And in between the pieces we do soundscaping-improvisations, in a way representing the film music after the theme melodies .” And to his compositions: “When composing for my jazz bands I avoid and fight off clichés, search for my own; with the SFT I allow them to happen and play with them. With the SFT the unique develops by playing with the material and from the intense musical personalities that are colliding here.”
And so a century of trash swooshes through the ear in musical parsecs, between art and kitsch, old and new, beautiful and strange. The Science Fiction Theater is very entertaining despite all musical seriousness and freely steadily assimilates old ideas and clichés, without quoting these and thereby creates something new.
In film jargon, Dolly Shots describe sequences that were made from a “Dolly”, a mobile camera cart. Moving and emotional snap-shots ? the tracks “Dolly Shot A-D” are on the recording freely improvised showpieces that appear composed. The other titles have a more clearly conceptual approach: “Titty Twister” is an homage to Quentin Tarantino and the bar of that name in the movie From Dusk till Dawn, “Flucht ins Dunkel” [Escape Into the Dark] was inspired by the film music composer Lalo Schifrin and car chases of the seventies. In “Halbwelt” [Demimonde] an imaginary “film noir-thriller-feeling” in between “guys and dolls” wafts through the calottes, “Horny Mutant” is a tragic-comic musical construct in the tradition of the mutants of cinematic history and finally “Sputnik” honors wonderfully bad science-fiction movies like Barbarella, Flash Gordon or Godzilla, those chamber of horror cheap effects, in which backdrops appear unvarnished as backdrops, where the fake was real and that didn’t feign perfect illusion. In an Adorno-like converse argument the music of the Science Fiction Theatre offers the opportunity to hear “true life in the fake”, to let your mind wander, where the nowadays perfect digital production hinders the imagination from taking off. The initiation of clichés in the listener’s brain at the same time works as the ignition for a trip into the unknown; whoever goes aboard with this band, does this with the Stark Trek motto: “To boldly go, where no one has been gone before”.