The Squid's Ear Magazine


Rotozaza (Hein / Mahall / Melbye / Lillinger): Zero (Leo Records)

The Berlin quartet of bass clarinetist Rudi Mahall, Nicola L. Hein on guitar, Adam Pultz Melbye on bass and Christian Lillinger on drums, using traditional and extended techniques in spontaneous compositions that blend free jazz and sound improvisation in truly unique ways.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Nicola L. Hein-guitar

Rudi Mahall-bass clarinet

Adam Pultz Melbye-bass

Christian Lillinger-drums


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UPC: 5024792076321

Label: Leo Records
Catalog ID: LEOR763.2
Squidco Product Code: 22464

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2016
Country: UK
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded in March 2015 by Marco Birkner.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"As to tactics modern football (for Americans: I'm talking about soccer) has changed dramatically in the last 15 years. The teams of master coaches like Pep Guardiola, Antonio Conte and Carlo Ancelotti are able to change their strategies within seconds, just as required by the situation. A strong unit and positional play are perhaps the most important factors in the success and beautiful football of these teams, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are trained to be positionally intelligent and would consistently occupy the correct spaces on the pitch at all times, in turn allowing them to move the ball quickly and emphasize the abilities of players.

Rotozaza, named after a device to destroy bottles by Swiss artist Jean Tinguely, is a quartet consisting of German bass clarinetist Rudi Mahall (of Alexander von Schlippenbach's Monk's Casino fame, among others) and three members of the new German/Danish guard: Nicola L. Hein on guitar, Adam Pultz Melbye on bass and Hyperactive Kid's Christian Lillinger. Zero is their first album and contains a bundle of seven freely improvised pieces.

That modern football and free jazz are sometimes very much alike can be seen on their debut, especially on two tracks. "Anwendung herzstärkender Mittel" (German for "application of medicine which consolidates the heart") builds a structure with scintillating guitar and bass tremolos and rolling drums over which the bass clarinet can soar with a squeaking voice. Mahall's sound is pleasantly different to what one might expect. Notwithstanding, Hein is the man who leads the band in a different direction with a lot of guitar distortion. A bowed bass, reluctant drums, and a lyrical bass clarinet close the track. "Engel in Schutzanzügen" (German for "angels in protective gear") is the longest and best piece of the album and the best example of how they shift their improvisations. It begins like an angular ballad, bass and bass clarinet contribute long and extensive notes, Lillinger's brushes support the tension created. When Hein creeps into the piece with shy feedbacks, they build a wall of sound which is both airy and transparent. The change occurs slightly after six minutes when Hein lets dotted single notes ring, reminiscent of Derek Bailey. Lillinger responds with gongs and Mahall produces angry runs. Here the piece is at the verge of complete disintegration. However, this happens very organically. Often one instrument holds the piece together (and it's not necessarily one of the rhythm section), sometimes it's only a certain recurring element like a guitar feedback or a bowed bass line.

In the short liner notes the musicians mention that sound experimentation is a very important element in their music, it's used as a central improvising aspect, for example in "Körper aus Vakuum Masse" (which means "body of a mass of vacuum"), where Mahall jumps from very low to extremely high registers, competing with the guitar noise.

The purpose of a clever football strategy is to beat the other team, one purpose in free jazz is to surprise the listener. Zero succeeds in doing this, it's a very tight album. Like good football teams Rotozaza are a great unit with very good individual players. A promising debut."-Martin Schray, Free Jazz Blog


Get additional information at Free Jazz Blog

Artist Biographies

"Nicola L. Hein (Born 1988 in Düsseldorf) is a guitarist, composer and soundartist. As a guitarist he is mainly concerned about the search for new sounds on his instrument. He plays electric and acoustic guitar with or without preperations and tries to find new ways of playing the guitar within the context of Free Improvised Music and Jazz. He plays the guitar with his hands and plectrum but also with a lot of different objects: screws, rulers, iron wool, violin bow, abrasive paper, magnets and many other objects which are part of his musical vocabulary. The result is his very own world of sounds, which is using the rich potential of the guitar as a creator of sounds. The manual creation is a very important character of this sound world, which never gets distorted by the use of electronic effects. As a composer he finds different ways of integrating philosophical ideas into music and to play music as a form of philosophy. In order to actualize itself the compositional work is always aimed at the improvising musician as a dialectic partner of the composition. From the interplay of these partners an ästhetic emerges that is based on the spontanity of the performance and the setting of aesthetic action spaces alike. As a soundartist he is developing different ways to project the musical ontology of Improvised Music onto different aesthetic rooms. This is done by creating instruments, installations and other ways of using the guitar, which use the musical ontology of Improvised Music as the center of the sonic practise but generate a lot of different sense structures that differ from the usual practise of Improvised Music (for example by creating a scenic sense layer etc.). He also creates sound installations which involve the recipient as a part of the work. The works encourage the recipient to make a special aesthetic experience with different sounds. The aesthetic of these sounds is inspired by the aesthetics of Free Improvised Music.

He studied Jazzguitar, Soundart/Composition, Philosophy and German philology at the Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität Bonn and the Gutenberg-Universität Mainz. Projects with the support of: Initiative Musik, Staatsministerium für Kultur und Medien, Kunststiftung NRW, Deutscher Musikrat, Akademie der Künste der Welt, Kultursekretariat NRW, Ministerium für Familie, Kinder, Jugend, Kultur und Sport des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, Landesmusikrat NRW, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatstheater Mainz, Staatstheater Hannover, ON Neue Musik Cologne, RheinEnergieStiftung Kultur, Kulturamt der Stadt Köln, Kulturamt der Stadt Düsseldorf, Kulturamt der Stadt Essen, Kulturbehörde Hamburg, Hamburgische Kulturstiftung, Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln, Köln Musik, Acht Brücken, RWE Stiftung für Energie & Gesellschaft, Second Floor e.V., Jazz Offensive Essen, ZKM Karlsruhe etc. He has worked with: Evan Parker, Phil Minton, John Russell, Paul Lytton, Frank Gratkwoski, Michael Vorfeld, Rudi Mahall, Tobias Delius, Liz Allbee, Christian Lillinger, Ute Wassermann, John Butcher, Axel Dörner, Thomas Lehn, Wilbert de Joode, Tristan Honsinger, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Michael Thieke, Sofia Jernberg, Audrey Chen, Peter Jacquemyn, Carl Ludwig Hübsch, Robert Landfermann, Jon Rose, Sebastian Gramss, Tomomi Adachi, Alfred Zimmerlin, DJ Illvibe etc."

-Nicola L. Hein Website (https://nicolahein.com/blemishes/about/)
6/17/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Rudi Mahall (born 1966 in Nürnberg, Germany) is a contemporary jazz bass clarinetist.

While studying classical clarinet, Mahall shifted towards contemporary music, improvisation and jazz. He is, or was a member of following bands: Avantgardeband Die Hartmann 8, Der Rote Bereich (initially comprehending Frank Möbus, Marty Cook, Jim Black und Henning Sievert), the Trio Tiefe töne für Augen und Ohren (with Sievert and Bill Elgart), Carlos Bicas Azul and Die Enttäuschung (amongst others with Axel Dörner, Jan Roder). He carried out several projects and published CDs with Aki Takase, about the work of Eric Dolphy and others. Mahall participated to Alexander von Schlippenbach's recording of the complete works of Thelonious Monk, published by a prestigious Swiss label, and he is a member of the Globe Unity Orchestra. Moreover, he performed with Conny Bauer, Lee Konitz, Barry Guy, Karl Berger, Paul Lovens, Sven-Åke Johansson, Radu Malfatti, Ed Schuller, Ray Anderson, Kenny Wheeler, Hannes Bauer and many others.

Mahall performed at the Free Music Festival Jazz à Mulhouse in 2008, at the Moers Festival, the JazzFest Berlin, the Leverkusener Jazztage and jazz festivals in New York City, Amsterdam, München, Würzburg, Nürnberg, and he toured in Portugal, southern and eastern Africa."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudi_Mahall)
6/17/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Adam Pultz Melbye is a Double bassist who also plays electronics, and is a composer. Born in Ribe, Denmark in 1981. Currently living in Berlin. Working mainly in the field of improvisation and structured sound, Adam has toured Europe, the US and Japan, performing solo concerts, in duo with dancer Akemi Nagao, the orchestras Toggle, Jitter, Angel, Flamingo as well as with musicians such as Pat Thomas, Mark Sanders, Evan Parker, Paul Lovens, Yasuhiro Yoshigaki and Michiyo Yagi. Playing electronics, Adam performs in the duo Toggle (with Mads Emil Nielsen) and Ouroboros with Chris Heenan and Michael Vorfeld. Appears on 25+ albums. Initiator of the release platform Noema."

-Adam Pultz Melbye Website (http://www.adampultz.com/biography/)
6/17/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Christian Lillinger (born April 21, 1984 in Lübben ) is a drummer, composer and percussionist of modern creative style and new improvisational music.

Lillinger studied at the University of Music Carl Maria von Weber Dresden at Günter Sommer from 2000 to 2004. Between 2001 and 2003 he was a member of the Bundesjugendjazzorchester.

Lillinger plays in the trio Gropper | Graupe | Lillinger, until 2015 under the name Hyperactive Kid, with the saxophonist Philipp Gropper and the guitarist Ronny Graupe, where he is largely confined to the conventional drum kit. In 2008, he composed his first band Christian Lillingers Grund, whose first two released albums were released at Clean Feed Records at the end of 2009 and 2013. In addition Lillinger works as a sideman with well-known musicians such as Rolf Kühn, Joachim Kühn, Miroslav Vitouš, Beat Furrer, Rudi Mahall, John Schröder, Barre Phillips, Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky, Wadada Leo Smith, Frank Gratkowski, Simon Nabatov, Tobias Delius and Axel Dörner, Thomas Lehn, Michael Wollny, Louis Scyvis, Bruno Chevillon, David Liebman, Edmund Lehmugruber, Theo Jörgensmann, John Edwards, Greg Cohen, William Parker, Joe Lovano and Tony Malaby. Since 2004 he has been working continuously in the EUPHORIUM, the international ensemble of contemporary performing arts and music around the Leipzig-based Oliver Schwerdt, especially in the trio with Schwerdt alias Elan Pauer and Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky. Since 2009, Lillinger has also been working in the Klaviertrio Grünen with Achim Kaufmann and Robert Landfermann, who presented a first album on the Portuguese label Clean Feed Records in 2010. Since 2010, Lillinger has also worked in the trio Dell Lillinger Westergaard, which also performed with John Tchicai. In 2011 he founded the Trio Starlight with Petter Eldh and Wanja Slavin, who moved his debut CD 2013 to the Swiss label Unit Records. With Eldh and Slavin he also founded the Quartet Amok Amor with the American trumpeter Peter Evans, who released his first album of the same name in 2015.

Lillinger is also a member of the following groups: Rolf Kühn Unit, Henrik Walsdorff Trio, Pascal Niggenkempervision 7, Ronny Graupes Spoom, Schmittmenge Meier, Marc Schmolling Trio, Wanja Slavin Quintett, Carl Ludwig Hübschs Drift, Hübschacht, Uwe Steinmetz Stream Ensemble, The upper class, Ember, Gerhard Gschlößl's group of four, Gerhard Gschlößls G9, KUU! And also plays with Joachim Kühn in trio.

From 2012 to 2013, Christian Lillinger was a member of the board of the Union of German Jazzmusicians."

-Wikipedia (translated by Google) (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Lillinger)
6/17/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. Anwendung Herzstarkender Mittel 5:46

2. Der Hammer Als Hammer 9:00

3. Engel Mit Schutzanzugen 12:00

4. Korper Aus Vakuum Masse 4:30

5. Innere Minuslandschaften 7:50

6. Zeichen Sind Wir, Deutungslos... 6:45

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Trio Recordings
Jazz & Improvisation Based on Compositions

Search for other titles on the label:
Leo Records.


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