Feb 22 2014
One of the more intriguing releases I’ve discovered in 2014 thus far is Skykptn’s 28, the self-titled debut by Skykptn’s 28. A little chamber jazz, a little folk music, a little indie-rock, and a whole lot its own unique identity. That viola and cello comprise two parts of this sextet arrangement is no small factor in the captivating, soothing music that results from the collaboration. Their duality as instigators of rhythmic magnetism and weapons of melodic beauty instills this music with a swaying nonchalance that is positively addictive, and when they lay down the harmony, it’s as comforting as sunlight on a winter day.
Add to that guitar’s penchant for a surf twang and a pointillism approach to melodic expression, and now the viola-cello contribution is enhanced twice over. The saxophone contribution is one in which it carefully picks its parts, choosing to interweave its solos within the fabric of the group collective, so as to blur the line between soloist and accompaniment. Bass and drums stay in synch throughout, at times separating to cover different ends of the field, but always staying within eyesight of one another.
Most tracks maintain a dreamy atmosphere, a lazy day languor that’s terribly intoxicating, but there are tracks like “Intro Die Leiden” and “Spacecowboys” that slip right into a thick drone, with the former of those two steering the music into tepidly dissonant territory and the latter utilizing the drone as an instrument of pure harmonic bliss. “Die Leiden Des Jungen B Im Reich Des Dschingis Khan” begins with the peaceful demeanor prevalent on this recording, but the ensemble does raise their voice near the end, loosing their clamorous persona long enough to light up with some electric guitar burn, cry out with saxophone howls, and charge ahead with the thundering hooves of drums. “Havarie In Grundremmingen” develops a catchy little groove, and though it doesn’t stray far from the album’s central identity, the slight change of scenery provides for a nice dose of contrast.
Music that’s Something Different, but intoxicating in a way that makes it seem so very familiar. I’m quite taken with this recording.
Your album personnel: Birte Fuchs (viola), Nathalie Hörhold-Ponneau (cello), Christopher Klein (saxophone. flute), Thomas Büchel (guitar), Benjamin Hiesinger (bass), and Janis Görlich (drums).
Released on Unit Records.
Jazz from the Berlin scene.
The Something Different review series highlights albums that are unlike anything else, and which embrace the best qualities of creative vision.