Third album from German lo-fi ethno-forgers on the rather wonderful Staubgold imprint...
Peter Marsh 2003-07-14
When it seems that much contemporary electronica or avant rock seems determined to disappear in a haze of conceptualism and /or clumsy irony, it's a real pleasure to come across a record as unassuming, kaleidoscopic and beguiling as this one. I've not come across Harald 'Sack' Ziegler or Frank Shultge Blumm before, but I'm very pleased to make their acquaintance now.
Shoving together dolefully melodic trumpets, ethnic percussives, occasional electronics and the odd spot of fuzz bass, Sack und Blumm construct a quirky, good natured fusion of ethnological forgery, electronica and avant rock. Apparently the two work by mailing each other tapes and files, but the results are much more organic than such an approach might suggest.If Jon Hassell had a sense of humour and a much lower recording budget, this is what he might come up with, but Sack und Blumm's closest relatives might be post-punk bedroom experimentalists like General Strike.
Most of the tracks ride on gentle, jaunty rhythms generated by looped thumb pianos, percussion or bass guitar, while trumpets, voices or melodica carve long toned, slightly melancholiclittle tunes over the top. Sometimes tinkling cascades of chiming, er, chimes murmur away to themselves like a room full of musical boxes playing random fragments of Steve Reich pieces. Nothing extends much beyond the five minute mark, yet Sack und Blumm pack a lot in to each piece without appearing to do very much.
To sum this record up as 'charming' may seem to be underselling it a little. It won't announce itself with a smack between the ears. But that's ok; after all we don't need those kind of experiences every day (or at least I don't). But if you fancy having your ears tickled by music rich with warmth, intelligence and humour, this'll be for you.