RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

Net Feature/ Jan Jelinek: "Hub-Tierbeobachtungen - Live"

img  Tobias

Even though I'm not a nostalgic per se, the advent of the digital age in music distribution does make me feel a wee bit sentimental. „Hub Tierbeobachtungen – Live“ comes as a download-release only, available exclusively through a web of Internet retailers and without any of ~scape's smooth packagings to hold hands with or their colourful printed slabs of vinyl to watch spinning on your turntable. While the music offers a broad look at the label's status quo, listening to these six remixes  brings back a couple of cherished memories to me.

For it seems just like yesterday that I would regularly visit WOM (World of Music), then the biggest record store in Frankfurt, to bridge a couple of free hours in between two blocks of lectures in economic theory or to spend entire Friday afternoons listening to the latest CDs. I would randomly roam the shelves and listen to whatever interested me at that moment. One of the albums I discovered that way was „Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records“ by Jan Jelinek. At the time, this mosaique of snippeted samples which gradually drew nearer to wave dense nets of mood and longing, seemed like the most exciting thing there was.

Through the years, Jelinek has remained faithful to the connection with ~scape, an uncommon longevity in artistic relations, which has had resulted in a clear evolutionary process without any kind of external pressure. With his two latest studio albums, he has drawn comparisons with Krautrock and the Cosmic Couriers (but what is one to expect with album titles such as „Kosmischer Pitch“ and quirky cover artwork depicting mountain goats) and awarded something of a band-flavour to his meticulously crafted tracks.

That line of development has now come to a temporary acme – albeit not in his own hands. This remix project was recorded live at the record release party to „Tierbeobachtungen“, to which Jelinek invited a bunch of his friends at ~scape, some of which include artists who have helped to decidingly shape the face of electronic music over the past decade: Pole, Frank Bretschneider, Andrew Pekler and Thomas Fehlmann all gladly stood in line to offer their personal vision of the original assigned to them.

As a direct result, „Hub-Tierbeobachtungen“ is nothing like the wild musical hotpot often served as an easy to realise but hardly satisfying appendix to a record. Instead, it is a fully-fledged alternative version of Jan Jelinek's blueprint, with the exact same track order and an equally coherent ambiance. In fact, even though the performers involved realised their pieces independently, there is an astounding red thread running through the finished product, which sees the album go from the energetic, ten-minute opener „A Concert for Television“ by Robert Lippok to the stark, cooled-off claustrophopbia of Anne Westphalen & Peter Lay's take on the title track.

What lies inbetween is seldomly abstract, often groovy, mainly deliciously crisp and always warm and sensous. At its core, „Hub-Tierbeobachtungen“ is the exact opposite of a chill-out album in that it stimulates synapses at a subtle but erotic level, instead of lulling them to sleep. Pole serves a subcutaneously pushing beat made up of myriads of scraping, rasping and crackling layers of sound, while Frank Bretschneider builds a gently enveloping, rhythmic ambient track from a sensous opening sequence in the bass register.

Of course, this would have made for a wonderful offering on heavy Vinyl, just three tracks on each side, packaged in a lucurious gateway cover. But then again, this music might just as well have been forgotten completely without the possibilities of digital distribution. If the transition to the world of downloads is inevitable (which it is), then Jan Jelinek and his friends have at least made the best of it. „Hub-Tierbeobachtungen“ counters cool binary code with emotional associations and replaces static structures with the kick of the concert situation. And who knows, it might well serve as food for thought for future generations of artists and music fans.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Jan Jelinek
Homepage: ~scape Records

Related articles

Roam the Hello Clouds: Free Electro-Jazz Textures at ABC Australia
Australian Electro-Jazz trio Roam the ...
Frivolous: Finds his Island of Sanctity
After a deep personal experience, ...
Vital Weekly 612
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Net Feature/ Sawako: "Summer Tour"
Audiotourism by a former classical ...
CD Feature/ NĂ©meth: "Film"
Often, the drums are the ...
CD Feature/ Morton Feldman: "String Quartet"
Endless variations and challenging musical ...
Net Feature/ Slon: "Jelenka EP"
Tightrope artists with an inutitive ...
Net Feature/ Craque: "Density Operator"
Beats as discreet pacemakers: Like ...
CD Feature/ Robert Ashley & Ensemble MAE: "Tapdancing in the Sand"
Rhythm and implicit images: Language ...
Vital Weekly 611
Frans de Waard presents the ...
CD Feature/ Nicola Benedetti: "Vaughn Williams & Sir John Taverner"
Benedetti vs Taverner: Who is ...
CD Feature/ Autistici: "Volume Objects"
Noises from afar heard through ...
Pole: Steingarten Remixes
German label ~scape is continuing ...

Partner sites