Tobias Christl: Verschmelzung: Release Information
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Release Date: 25.10.2013
TT Catalogue No: 4589
Tobias Christl - “Verschmelzung” [Mergence]
You could also just sing a few songs; pretty, clear melodies in major and minor, lyrics of love and heartache, something like that. You could do that; it would be practical, compact, time-tested and would save a lot of trouble. You could use existing melodies, harmonies, lyrics, clichés that are already floating around. Just like everyone else. Almost everyone. But some just can’t stand that; too worn-out, too hollow, too shallow.
Tobias Christl is somebody who can’t stand it. Christl, born 1978, musically matured in Würzburg, Nürnberg, Cologne, Weimar and New York - so virtually everywhere. He is a vocalist; even more so an elocutionist than a singer, although he is certainly that too: variable and versatile, secure in the manifold colors of his voice, between purring and screaming, romantic silence and dimmed recitation. With his pop-project “Herbe Sahne” [Bitter Cream] he was one of the finalists of Udo Lindenberg’s award “Panikpreis” and was also a winner of the German Video Award. This musical multi-talent doesn’t only master his voice, but also plays keyboards, guitar and clarinet. Musically he does everything himself: he writes his own compositions, his own lyrics, his own songs. Without making a big deal out of it, he deliberately writes in German; the language he knows well enough to use brusque turns and a short little subordinate clause to elude the trap called meaning. Dada is an association, the lyric of the 20th century with its disruptions and breakings and of course the songwriting of the better among songwriters: Stop Making Sense. With his singing he then again wipes away all question for text comprehension and vocalizes, wordlessly, just another instrument in the sound texture and after all everything is just: music.
Tobias Christl, with his definitely programmatically so called “Lieblingsband” [Favorite Band]: with Pablo Held, the pianist, with Robert Landfermann and Jonas Burgwinkel, bass and drums, the Midas-team of the current German jazz, for whom everything they play turns to gold, in addition Tobias Hoffmann, the guitarist and the saxophonist Niels Klein: in other words the musicians collective KLAENG from Cologne, that has been working on pulling their improvised music, their jazz, out of the lonely remoteness of the niche for a few years now and has remarkable success at that.
For example: “Verschmelzung” [Mergence], Tobias Christl’s new CD: a kaleidoscope of sounds, dazzling, always in motion – and never easy to classify. For one, the almost classical entrance in “Begabter Bausatz” [Gifted Construction Kit], a crescendo as played by heavenly violins, that soon after resolves into a pastiche of speckled chord tones, that occasionally bring in a rock-like color, which then quickly vanishes again. The minimalistic pattern of “Zeit” [Time] that soars up into an impulsive groove, Christl’s vocals added, light and breezy until it disappears into a cloud of feedback. And on it goes, nothing is certain, everything is allowed: ramified harmonies, a collage of glassy sounds that builds to a pile of shards, the singer a taleteller, the melody reduced to one pitch. Then again giant leaps through tonal space, furious energy build-ups, that resolve into the casual coolness of a bass-clarinet solo, the hyped up enthusiasm in improvisation.
There are songs too, that are clear melodies, simple structures sometimes, different from case to case. There are lyrics – grown-up, but not rusted in – that are concerned with speech, that tell of searching, of despair, when one cannot find the lips, not the real moments, not carnality or meaning. And when they do take position, cannot find the real speech for these moments. What remains is motion and change. Each and every song searches for and finds its own shape and that makes the big difference and has great consequences.