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|22nd July 2011, 12:36 AM||#2744|
Join Date: Feb 2006
Liquid Soul 1000 Kraniche (1000 Cranes)
One might call this an advertisement, because this is a recording of friends of mine.
But I am playing this CD for almost five weeks now
and this not related to friendship.
This is just very good, humane, handmade music. And recorded very well.
When Gert, on of the leaders of the group, came to my flat to present the master -we have the habit to check the master of a new recording on my stereo, some kind of "HiFi-enthusiasts-test",
before the master finally goes to print-we did rather more talking about the production than listening seriously.
I knew the material already, because I sometimes film their concerts.
But on the next day, the repeat button was already pressed, the disk drawer only opened to replace the master-copy with the final print.
"Liquid Soul" is a world-music group headed by Gert Anklam and Beate Gatscha.
Gert, playing the soprano, tenor and baritone saxophone (and, more recently, the chinese mouth organ, sheng) started in contemporary free-jazz,
made an intermediate stop in medieval music, then studied indian and asian music traditions.
Because he uses the technique of circular breathing, he has minimalist and uninterrupted sound, creating a full and polyphonic texture.
Together with Beate Gatscha and Martin Spuehler he developed a the "Wasserstichorgel", an organ-like pipe being played rhythmically by dipping it in water.
Sounds like a BIG pan-flute.
Beate plays the hang, a steeldrum - like instrument (with much softer sound) and does the percussion,
supporting Ulrich Moritz, a percussionist you should not invite to dinner when you have fragile dishes, he will probably play on them.
The title "1000 Kraniche" came up, when the group toured Germany.
Shortly before tour started, the Japan earthquake took place.
One member of the group, the Yokohama based singer and Koto-player Karin Nakagawa told the members of the ancient legend
that the individual who was able to fold 1000 paper cranes was granted a whish from the gods.
So while touring Germany, Karin used every available minute to fold paper cranes which she would give away to the audience as gifts and a sign of hope.
This jazz based, eastern influenced music (with blends of minimalism and Noh chants) could be easily described as "film music"
It evokes images, something you wool probably look for after leaving the cinema (or giving the DVD back to the rental).
But hey, we are also HiFi-afficionados, so...?
Remember the glorious days of direct to disc recordings?
Almost the same.
Recorded "live" with no compression to the mix, no limiting, no EQ, no overdubs.
Like in the early days of pure digital recordings, i.e Joe Jackson´s "Body and Soul" or "Big World".
When those recordings were made, (84 and 85) only few digital mixing consoles were available.
But no effect gear like compressors, limiters or reverb was on the market-too much processor power needed.
If one wanted to stay pure digital from mic to tape, a good recording location had to do the reverberation.
Liquid Soul uses the same approach.
"1000 Kraniche" was recorded in May 2011 at the Studiokirche Berlin. (Studiochurch Berlin)
The "Studiokirche" was actually a Recording studio (mostly for classical recordings) during the times of the GDR.
After the wall came down, it became a church again, but recording enthusiasts convinced the parish to use it as a part-time studio because of the excellent acoustics.
The setup for this recording was a Schoeps KFM 6 Sphere Microphone,
supported by Neumann, Shure and Beyerdynamic microphones.
The KFM 6 is an artificial head microphone, perfect for imaging the soundstage.
The other mics were added where tonal balance and clarity was needed
I guess, a lot of the recording time (three days) was spent for the proper fine tuning of the microphone setups.
The sound engineer Knut Becker does regard sampling conversions to degrade the sound during the recording process.
He recorded straight 16bit / 44.1kHz (even though he could have done "better") using a ProToolsSystem with an integratet RME microphone amp and D/A converter.
A delicate task. Using higher bit depths like 24 bit would have given him more headroom for proper quantization, so faint sounds would have being still recorded with 16bit.
He told me, he spent much time under his Stax Lambda Pro Headphones in preparation of the setup,listening only to the fainting reverb to reassure full quantization.
When I heard the recording the first time, I thought it was lacking a bit of the lower mids and bass.
But I very soon found out, that I was "mislead"
I simply was used to those compressed, airplay-ready, everyday recordings where loudness is everything.
Needless to say, this recording, unaffected by any postprocessing is very balanced and airy.
Tabla or frame drums have the right punch and very low bass fundament.
Guess I will hear it for a longer time, hope I will not end like Howard Hughes...
Here is a link to some samples, for those interested (and of course, you can buy it and no, i will not get any money):
Gert Anklam - CD-Shop
|22nd July 2011, 02:35 AM||#2745|
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: on the sacred planet still
Thanks Salar for the introduction to this music. I just listened to a couple of sound clips...i must say entrancing and quite engaging for the short duration of the sound clips the end of which leaves one hanging in wonder thirsty for more...i ordered the CD! Cheers!
|22nd July 2011, 07:53 AM||#2746|
Join Date: Feb 2006
Seraph - thank you!
The first batch is 1000 copies. Normally, it will be years before it is sold out. I really hope for them , it wil be months, they deserve it.
There is many, many top notch musicians who share the same problem, no label to promote them, no personal contacts to music journalists. You struggle for it, but still, you need luck.
As for one example, in Germany, there is a national Radio Station called "Deutschlandradio Kultur". They are focused on art. But they should fire their music journalists. In Pop, they are always touting new releases of musicians, who are known from the 60´s 70´s 80´s, something they believe the listener might be interested in, because it was the time of his youth.
In Jazz one has the feeling, it has never developed, because they are touting those musicians, who play and make arrangments like in the fifties. They have a Pavlov like thinking nurished from clichés.
I remember, when one of the Gert´s projects, "Ensemble Nu:n" was released.
(Improvisations with Guitar and saxophone over medival chants) they were touting a CD, where the catchphrase was "Samples and Medival Chants". I guess, just because this sounds cool to them.
So i hope, forums like this will help a small bit from the dilemma...
Still listening to it btw, 9:50 in Berlin and very unusual in July, 18 degrees centigrade and rain...
|22nd July 2011, 08:57 AM||#2747|
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: San Antonio
I agree this is laid back and dreamy music. Don't think I've heard anything quite like it. All the different arrangements sound impressive, whether it's guitar, piano, percussion, or wasserstichorgel accompanying the saxophone. The solo "Klang der Zeit" is amazing. And yes, "Daydream" sounds really good on my system. Thanks, Salar. I'm sold.
It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from enquiry. - Thomas Paine
|22nd July 2011, 11:31 AM||#2748|
Markus Hauke "Schlag Artig" -- percussion solo -- don't know where I saw it mentioned, but I got it via Amazon -- usually this will be on WBGO but I haven't heard them play it.
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