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Bye And Bye I'm Going To See The King

19345
  • Title: Bye And Bye I'm Going To See The King
  • Artist: Heaven And
  • Label: Staubgold
  • Format: LP
  • Genres: Jazz, Post-Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Progrock
  • Price: €8,50EU (incl. 19% VAT)€7,14non-EU

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"Heaven And's second album simply cannot be attributed to any genre. Earthy bottleneck guitar licks or wailing lap steel harmonies are occasional references to folk and blues, yet they're only an acoustic sheet lightning on a heaven in which - occasionally - violins play on cloud nine. But the delicately tared string quartet does not emanate an acoustic cotton wool cloud cosiness. Rather, it's a precisely accentuated "European" counterpoint to those seemingly primeval American motifs. A similar ying and yang is evident in the sometimes deliberately jarring, then again almost seamless juxtaposition of acoustic and programmed sounds. From the hovering clouds and walls of sound generated by keyboards or an organ unexpectedly emerges a percussive pulse. Digital sizzling, throbbing and clicking stand in contrast to melodic guitar mantras. Monolithic bass patterns mutate into thunderous noise attacks. Electronic tweeting reminds one of flicking across the dial of an analogue radio. Massive layers of chords develop the sinister and gorgeous force of a stream of lava. Dark drum patterns, ritualistic trance grooves or the evident use of snare drum and cymbals are proof of drummers Tony Buck and Steve Heather sure feeling for magic rhythms and associative counterpoints. In other passages, the band goes without beats - which gives the music a more cinematic feel.

The suggestive quality of music is something that the distinguished instrumentalists of Heaven And have been aware of for years. For example, Martin Siewert has worked with director Gustav Deutsch, while bassist zeitblom developed several projects for radio with author and director Michael Farin. He also composed for Jiri Bartovanec, a dancer from the ensemble of Sasha Waltz. A radio production for the WDR about pop icon Aleister Crowley turned out to be the starting point for the band. zeitblom had worked with all three musicians before, yet never as a quartet.

For the Crowley radio play, he brought the musicians together as a band for the first time. "It was fascinating seeing how the drummers hit it off from the first", zeitblom remembers the essential success of the freshly founded band. In addition to the music for the radio play, the band also forged their debut album "Sweeter As The Years Roll By" (staubgold 87 CD/DL/LP) from sketches and live sessions in 2008.

For the album "Bye And Bye I’m Going To See The King" once again live improvisations were used as basis. In contrast to the debut album, these were processed and edited more thoroughly. Siewert and zeitblom meticulously honed these recordings into an album with a most singular aesthetic over a period of one and a half years. Among other things, they used manual processes employed by the pioneers of dub reggae. Some passages were skeletonised; single sound fragments were then mysteriously redyed by means of computer based sound processing or augmented with newly played overdubs. Says Siewert: "We regard the interventions in the studio not only as a legitimate but in some instances downright creative means in the creation of a well moulded album." With this statement, Siewert also defines a clear dividing line between the detailed production of an album and the music's spontaneous and raw presentation on stage. Compared to the debut, the rhythms of this second session were a lot more varied even in their basic form. Nevertheless, on some tracks Siewert and zeitblom heavily manipulated the drum tracks and then asked Tony Buck and Steve Heather to overdub additional percussive motifs. "Some passages sounded quite good but were eliminated in the process of the production in order to keep the music alive and not to make it too condensed", explains zeitblom.

After all this processing and editing, all six tracks on the album now develop sublime arcs of suspense, sudden changes in dynamic and an intensity which at times almost assaults the listener. "We wanted to add distinctive melodies to the prominent grooves" explains Siewert. "Apart from that we wanted to intersperse the subtly nuanced passages with clear-cut, palpable statements." Guest pianist Ali N. Askin (who has been vitally involved in the Ensemble Modern's Zappa projects) arranged the string quartet, trumpet maverick Franz Hautzinger contributed abstract sounds, while Michael Weilacher completed the rhythmic structures with additional marimba or vibraphone patterns."