Jazzrausch Bigband: Dancing Wittgenstein

921

Jazzrausch Bigband is said to be the world’s first such band resident in a renowned techno club – Munich’s Harry Klein. When I read that the club features a neighbourhood-sensitive, sound-proof room-in-room construction in concrete, my initial response was – so why not keep the four-square head-banging vibe firmly locked in there?

Some years ago, techno music gave me the worst “musical” experience of my life, when I inadvertently booked a Zurich hotel room during the city’s annual techno festival: deep into the summer night, enormous trucks with absurdly powerful amplifiers and speakers trawled and pounded the city’s streets, to ear-plug-splitting effect.

The sleeve information that this brightly recorded session was supervised by one Umberto Echo (get it?) hardly endeared me further to the prospect of a techno love-in. And yet … it’s not for nothing that this slick, sharp and tight band’s many annual concerts have taken them, for example, to New York’s Lincoln Centre, the JZ Festival in Shanghai, the SXSW Festival in Austin and the Munich Philharmonic Hall. “Rausch” can signify, among other things, noise, raw excitement, inflamed appetite or compulsive behaviour. None of these does justice to this techno-anchored, riff-pumped yet also flowing, dynamically sentient and vibrantly voiced music.

Extra and welcome atmos comes courtesy of a deadpan reciting of Wittgenstein’s more famous aphorisms (the title track) and updated blues ’n’ funk vocal tropes (Banana, Riddim) and there are some incisive wrap-around sax, guitar and piano solos (check the title track, Continuous and Strip).

With the idea in mind of some partial, deep-frozen revenge for that hellish night in Zurich, I wonder if any true techno fan could possibly countenance the thought of an ancient jazzer like me – here in control of both volume and programming – actually coming to like (as I have done) this surprisingly engaging take on their world?

Discography
Dancing Wittgenstein; Le Systeme Planetaire; I Want to Be A Banana; Continuous Dirichlet; Subzero; Native Riddim; Moebius Strip – Radio Edit (48.08)
Daniel Klingi, Moritz Stahl, Raphael Huber, Florian Leuschner (s); Angela Avelisyan, Julius Braun, Andrea Unterreiner (t); Roman Sladek, Carsten Fuss (tb); Jutta Kees (tu); Patricia Römer (v); Kevin Welch (kyb, v); Heinrich Wulff (elg); Maximilian Himing (elb); Leonhard Kuhn (elec); Marco Dufner (d); plus, on Native Riddim, Martin Terens (elp); Silvan Strauss (d); Samuel Wootton (pc). Munich? 2018.
ACT 9047-2