RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

CD Feature: ko/ma: "Nur ein Traum"

img  Tobias

How many tangents can there possibly be between a German Pop band and an English-language WebZine on experimental music? Quite a few, as it turns out. For their first EP, ko/ma have dared to say goodbye to musical cliches and hello to fresh influences and created a sound that combines the directness of radio productions with the free forms of more daring work.

The interest of the duo for jazz as well as the inclusion of intellectually demanding elements into outwardly simple structures have certainly made their way to “Nur ein Traum” (“Just a Dream”). George Kochbeck, one half of ko/ma and an ever active solo musician as well as a member of several other projects since the mid-80s, calls his style “Popjazzrock” and that fits this release pretty well, if you deduct a bit of “rock” and add a couple of electronic influences. Opener “Wenn einer fragt”, based on a looped acoustic guitar motive and irrestibly swinging drums, grabs the attention right away, but its hit-charater is an exception on an EP which eschews fixed structures and whose tracks take their time to develop: The fender rhodes-dabbers of “Warum” circle around their own axis for five and a half minute, the title track concludes after six and the closing mantra “Nicht zu spät”only after  almost nine – “Nur ein Traum” may be walking many ways, but not the easy ones. Rather than focussing on the adrenalin-kick of the great chorus, the pieces transform gradually and flow towards hypnotically repeated phrases and slogans, which slowly spiral high into the sky. For minutes, nothing seems to happen at all, and then, suddenly, you find yourself caught by myriads of different elements shifting around each other and pushing the composition to a new level. The grand finale, meanwhile, is wilfully postponed, with the slapped bass pulses of the closing track fading into silence, instead of an overpowering climax. Which naturally fits the overall strategy of equally satisfying and confounding expectations.

While the lyrical concept about finding a personal approach to life and making important decisions before it is too late plays an important role, listening to “Nur ein Traum” with the naive ears of a Non-German speaker may actually make this an even more rewarding listen. The more the vocals turn into another instrumental layer, the more they stress the spaceous nature of this Pop release – and its reach into experimental territory.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: ko/ma at MySpace
Homepage: Monopalast Records

Related articles

CD Feature/ Professor Nineteen: "Diversity of Flowers"
The prefessor plays every instrument ...
Vital Weekly 586
Frans de Waard presents the ...
CD Feature/ Toshiya Tsunoda & Civyiu Kkliu
Silence and the return of ...
CD Feature/ Greg Palast: "Live from the Armed Madhouse"
A rapid-fire reader: Palast is ...
CD Feature/ TJ Norris: "triMIX"
Shows the world of “experimental” ...
CD Feature/ V.A.: "Montreal Sound Matter"
A personal approach in experimental ...
Random Stabbings 18a
November's first round of interesting ...
CD Feature/ Henschkeschlott: "Cafe Thiossane"
The “Kind of Blue” of ...

Partner sites