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Percussionist Paul Lovens joins the Lok 03 trio of Alexander von Schlippenbach (piano), Aki Takase (piano), and DJ Illvibe (turntables) for the follow-up to their 2005 debut, here in an extended album of playfully unexpected improv from four masterful players.

LOK 03+1 (Schlippenbach / Takase / DJ Illvibe / Lovens)

LOK 03+1 (Schlippenbach / Takase / DJ Illvibe / Lovens): Signals (Trost Records)

Label: Trost Records    
Released in: Austria    

"LOK 03 is the family unit of master German pianists-composers Alexander von Schlippenbach, his wife Aki Takase, and Alex's son Vincent von Schlippenbach, aka DJ Illvibe, who plays on turntables and sampling keyboard, together with von Schlippenbach's frequent collaborator for more than four decades in the Schlippenbach Trio and Globe Unity Orchestra, drummer Paul Lovens. LOK 03 recorded its self-titled debut a decade ago (Leo Records, 2005), an imaginary soundtrack to the 1927 avant-garde silent film of Walter Ruttmann's Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Grosstad (Berlin: Symphony of a Great City), a cinematic profile of a one day in the vibrant Berlin. This album created a unique busy and restless tapestry of sound referencing free jazz and hip-hop.

Now the star-scattered cover and the piece titles suggest another imaginary soundtrack to some futuristic sci-fi thriller. The 16 pieces highlight the masterful and highly literate interplay of von Schlippenbach, Takase - both performing and recording frequently as a team, their last recording is So Long Eric! - Homage to Eric Dolphy (Intakt, 2014) - and Lovens colliding with DJ Illvibe irreverent ideas that subvert and deconstructs these experienced improvisers attempts to form any notion of common pulse or narrative. Von Schlippenbach, Takase and Lovens respond immediately to the sonic challenges of DJ Illvibe, force him to adapt his wild ideas to a loose texture or narrative. It happens when Lovens charges "Animal Gun" cartoonish soundscape with an ironic rhythm, when DJ Illvibe adapts a poetic child-like sculpting of brass sounds to a gentle piano texture on "Animals Exodus" or when he attempts to push the linear course of the piano duet of von Schlippenbach and Takase backwards with manic alien sounds on "Curved".

What may sound as a recipe for an anarchic and chaotic stew of eccentric sounds gains its own logic after few pieces. It may be be due to the kindred familiar spirit, the modest genius of von Schlippenbach, Takse and Lovens as well as their resourceful improvisation instincts of all four musicians but these are only speculations. The four improvisers simply create their own common ground, in a true Cageian spirit, where all sounds are beautiful, all sounds find resonance in each other ideas, extending and expanding these colorful ideas.

By now pieces like "Waterrun (Part 1)" shine with its weird quiet beauty, "Robot Attack" with its feverish rhythmic attack and "The Laboratory of Dr. Mabuse" (referencing the mysterious villain in Fritz Lang movies) with its unworldly tension-filled cinematic soundscape, all with arresting form of interplay. You cannot but admire von Schlippenbach, soon 78 years old, Takase, ten years younger, and Lovens, a year younger than Takase, and DJ Illvibe, for their daring spirit to experiment and rebel with and against any form, genre, style or convention."-Eyal Hareuveni, FreeJazz Blog

Also available on vinyl LP.

"Born in Aachen, Germany, 6 June 1949; Drums, percussion, musical saw, etc.

Paul Lovens played the drums as a child. Self-taught, from the age of 14 he played in groups of various jazz styles and popular musics and from 1969 has worked almost exclusively as an improvisor on individually selected instruments. He has worked internationally with most of the leading musicians in free jazz and free improvisation, among whom have included the Globe Unity Orchestra, the Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, the Schlippenbach trio, Quintet Moderne, Company, and a duo with Paul Lytton. He has undertaken concert tours in more than 40 countries, is a founder member of a musician's cooperative and has produced recordings for his own label, Po Torch Records since 1976. He has worked with painter Herbert Bardenheuer. Despite very rare solo performances, and although giving occasional concerts with ad-hoc groups and an involvement in projects with film, dance and actors, Paul Lovens' main interest and work is musical improvisation in fixed small groups. In the mid-1990s these small groups numbered around 16, of which a few were part of a special selection, called 'vermögen'.

Paul Lovens somehow epitomises the free drummer/percussionist who is not there to lay down the beat and kick everyone else into action but to listen, colour, contribute, guide, and occasionally direct, the overall cooperative sound. In concert one cannot fail to be moved by his intensity and concentration and there is an overiding feeling that even the most random events are somehow planned in time. In this respect, there is a nice irony that on the Nothing to read CD with Mats Gustafsson, Lovens describes his kit as consisting of 'selected and unselected drums and cymbals'. Miking seems to be a problem at times with some recordings giving him undue prominence and others insufficient. Good recordings are Elf bagatellen, Nothing to read, Pakistani pomade, and ,stranger than love."

-European Free Improv (

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Trio Recordings
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Recent Releases and Best Sellers

Get additional information at Free Jazz Blog

Search for other titles on the Trost Records label.

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Price: $16.95
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 2.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 9120036682023

Label: Trost Records
Catalog ID: TROST 136CD
Squidco Product Code: 21695

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2016
Country: Austria
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at AudioCue, in Berlin, Germany by Rainer Robben.


Alexander von Schlippenbach-piano

Aki Takase-piano

DJ Illvibe-turntables

Paul Lovens-drums

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Track Listing:

1. Messages from Aries 6:18

2. Dragged In 1:32

3. Uncle Gun 2:12

4. Animals Exodus 4:02

5. Curved 3:54

6. The Gift 5:31

7. Signals 4:15

8. Cubic 5:06

9. Waterrun 1 6:40

10. Waterrun 2 2:09

11. Ecce Out 1:32

12. Chemist Zero 3:54

13. Robot Attack 7:46

14. The Labaratory of Dr. Mabuse 10:42

15. Rogo 2:54

16. Control or Delete 3:17