Kryptox Music & Mathias Modica present
JAZZ KRAUT FUTURISM – A COMPILATION FEATURING NEW GERMAN BANDS INSPIRED BY KRAUTROCK, AFROBEAT, JAZZ AND ELECTRONICA
Kryptox / Gomma / K7! > Digital / 2LP
There’s a new musical wind blowing through Germany – and especially in Berlin. After years of having been the techno capital of the world, the city now is embracing a much wider musical palette. Attracting a new generation of sonic adventurists, international jazz musicians as well as German talents. These highly skilled performers are searching for something new, merging different styles and influences.
It’s a fact: jazz no longer ‘smells funny’. And after London and L.A., Berlin is on its way to becoming a new hotspot for the next generation of jazz-influenced musicians. Thanks to its free hedonistic spirit as well as a blossoming scene of new live clubs, festivals and happenings.
This compilation showcases some of the most interesting artists on the new German scene to date.Yet while other new jazz movements are more influenced by hip hop and R&B, these young German ‘jazz’ musicians have audibly steeped themselves in their own heritage: Krautrock and electronic music.
The majority of the tracks on this compilation were composed exclusively for this release or have only seen a limited release via the artists’ own channels. A few have already been released in 2018/19 on small labels. Berlin, September, 2019
1 Karaba: Der Inder *
2 Salomea: Magnolia Tree
3 David Nesselhauf: Space Station
4 Shake Stew: Shake The Dust
5 Karl Hector & The Malcouns: Orange man *
6 Stimming x Lambert: The Little Giant *
7 Sissi Rada: Acrasian Beat *
8 C.A.R.: Dick Schaffrath
9 Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra: J Schleia
10 Oracles: That Was I
11 Onom Ogemo and the Disco Jumpers: Liquid Love °
12 Torben Unit: Free (Get Your Self Together) °
13 J. J. Whitefield: 14/ 08
14 Niklas Wandt: Balanphontanz in drei Schüben *
15 Ralph Heidel // Homo Ludens: The Flood
16 Keope: A Night In Bacalar *
17 Toresch: El Fuego °
* Previously unreleased
° Previously only available on Bandcamp or vinyl
All music recorded 2017 – 2019
Compiled & produced by Mathias Modica
DOWNLOAD Kraut Jazz Futurism (KRY013)
Pianist, A&R, music resarcher, vinyl collector, DJ, producer, founder and creative mind behind Gomma, Toy Tonics and Kryptox music.
He comes from a family of classical musicans, his father was director of Munich’s accademy of music. Mathias studied jazz piano before switching into electronic music and club culture. He started the indiedisco and electronica label Gomma in 2000.
Gomma was described by the NME as „Germany’s most interesting record label“ and Pitchfork „Gomma is like a German DFA“.
Mathias discovered artists such as WhoMadeWho, Coeo, Black Loops, Nick McCarthy of Franz Ferdinand (who started his carrier on Gomma). And (as Munk) he produced and collaborated with artists like Peaches, James Murphy, Nancy Whang, The Rammellzee, Asia Argento a.o.
Gomma now is sleeping. Instead Modica started the dancefloor funk label Toy Tonics (since 2015) and Jazz imprint Kryptox (2018 ) – to show what’s happening in the new Berlin Neo Jazz and Krautfunk scene.
Featured artists on the compilation:
Karl Hector & The Malcouns / JJ Whitefield
Karl Hector is one of several bands led by producer and guitarist JJ Whitefield. JJ is a legend to many for creating bands like The Poets of Rhythm, Rodinia or The Whitefield Brothers and releasing genre-blending albums on Ninja Tune, Stones Throw and Now-Again.
Always searching for new ideas in the world of jazz, funk and Afrobeat Whitefield has spent some time perfecting his skills in Africa and the USA. But he also absorbed ideas of the kraut-rock bands from his hometown Munich: Amon Düül, Popol Vuh and Embryo.
With the Karl Hector project, he merges influences from Middle Eastern funk, psychedelic jazz, the sounds of Ghana, Mali, Ethiopia and mixes them with his kraut heritage to a style all of his own. While on his solo
album Brother All Alone (Kryptox, 2019) he explores something we could call punk-jazz or kraut–funk.
Karl Hector & The Malcouns
Marja Burchard: Vocals/keys/vibraphone
Zdenko Curulija: DrumsAl X Markovic: Bass
JJ Whitefield: Guitar
JJ Whitefield Band
JJ Whitefield: Guitar, electric sitar, piano, bass, synthesizer
Johannes Schleiermacher: Baritone sax, synthesizer
Bernd Oezsevim: Drums
Maasl Maier: Bass
Marja Burchard: Xylophone
Harp virtuoso and electronica producer born in Athens, Sissi Rada has been living in Berlin for many years. She is an active member of Berlin’s contemporary musical avant-garde and is widely known in both electro and classical circles. Sissi Rada studied harp at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and at the Universität der Künste Berlin. She composes for contemporary theatre and dance companies, is a member of the David August ensemble, has worked with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Munich Kammerspiele and is second harpist at musicAeterna, the orchestra of Teodor Currentzis. Currently she is working on her solo album with guests including Lena Platonos and Andi Toma of Mouse on Mars; to be released on Kryptox 2020.
Sissi Rada: Harp, keyboards, electronics
Mark Wyand: Sax
Torben Unit Band
Raw and pure as it sounds this band’s music could be described as jazz-rock involving a lot of krauty vibes, modal harmonic weirdness, electronic soul and psychedelic atmospheres. Using a wide spectrum of instruments from bouzoukis to Pearl Syncussion alongside electric pianos, guitars, bass and drums.
Torben Unit’s set up includes DJ and producer Max Graef. With albums on Tartelet and Ninja Tune he is one of the leading musicians of Berlin’s scene. The band released two albums. The first was released on Money $ex Records, the label that Graef runs with Glenn Astro and Markus ‘Delfonic’ Lindner of OYE Record Store.
Max Graef: Bass & rhythmguitar
Karl Neumann: Keys & vocals
Georg Seibt: Drums
Ludwig Labuzinski: Synths & effects
Valentin Handrick: Keys & percussion
Gerry Franke: Guitar & bouzouki
Karaba have their very own voice in creating neo-krautrock and psychedelic jazz. The work of the five instrumentalists from Munich is driven by paragons such as early Soft Machine or Kraan, but always maintaining a humorous vibe that leads one through manifold dynamic soundscapes. Having released two self-published vinyl albums Karaba (2014) and Schwester Mondreal (2018), they are currently gaining international attention. The band includes some of the most important activists of the new German scene: Marja Burchard on vibraphone, daughter of Christian Burchard, founder of legendary krautrock pioneers Embryo. As well as bass player Marcel “Maasl” Maier. Both also play with Karl Hector & the Malcouns and many other new German outfits. United and fortified with Karaba’s mastermind Andreas Kainz on synths and organ, drummer Jakob von Thun and Louis Bankavs on guitar, Karaba is one of the most innovative acts of the new German underground kraut and rockjazz scene.
Marja Burchard: Vibraphone
Jakob Graf von Thun und Hohenstein: Drums
Marcel “Maasl” Maier: Bass
Louis Bankavs: Guitar
Andreas Kainz: Synths
… are Toni Bruna and Marcus Rossknecht. They create music by recording outdoors with a mobile recording studio set-up. Using only the electric guitar, a drum machine and an analogue modular-synthesizer. They call it: “A sacred experience in which cosmic forces are involved from stars to atomic vibrations.” Their first tracks were recorded in an abandoned quarry in Slovenia and were released on their debut album Tropicalni (on Muting the Noise, Berlin). Later AME’s Frank Wiedemann invited them to join his new label Bigamo where they released the 12” Saltamonte and an album in autumn, 2019.
…is a percussionist, producer and DJ living in Berlin. Starting out in hip hop and psyche rock/ jazz groups (Stabil Elite, Oracles) he later became involved with the Salon des Amateurs collective in Düsseldorf and was introduced to electronic music, which had a huge impact on him: This resulted in projects like Wolf Müller & Niklas Wandt with Jan Schulte and Neuzeitliche Bodenbeläge.
As an instrumentalist on the drum kit, congas, gongs, frame drum and random everyday objects, Niklas
shares strong ties with jazz and Middle Eastern and West African drumming. Improvising within the archetypal framework of tension and release, Niklas explores the slow variations of a musical sequence from scratch to catharsis; from the barely audible to the hard-hitting.
… is another, currently sleeping, project of Niklas Wandt. A Berlin and Cologne based band that merged hairy psychedelic and shoegaze with the streaming motoric repetition of krautrock, early electronica and pop-jazz derivatives into one mad melange of sound. Their albums Stanford Torus and Bedroom Eyes garnered international recognition. Followed by live tours and festival appearances at Austin’s SXSW and Brighton’s The Great Escape. The last show Oracles played was in 2017 at Northside Festival in Brooklyn NY. Since then the members have been focusing on individual projects.
Oracles are Joshua Gottmanns, Nils Herzogenrath, Dennis Jüngel, Hanitra Wagner, Niklas Wandt
Toresch are part of Düsseldorf’s Salon des Amateurs universe with a release on Vladimir Ivkovic’ Offen Music label. The collective was formed in 2018 by three cultural adventurers: Detlef Weinrich, Viktoria Wehrmeister and Jan Wagner. Weinrich is a resident DJ at Salon des Amateurs club, records music as Tolouse Low Trax and is a member of the band Kreidler. Wehrmeister is a Mexican-born sculptor who also played in the band La! Neu?. Live, they are augmented by the visuals of Jan Wagner. Director of Filmwerkstatt, Düsseldorf. The song on this compilation was taken from the EP Essen Fuer Alle.
Four musicians in their twenties that studied jazz at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne before discovering the electronic pioneers that made them change their approach to music: on hearing Can, Cluster and Stockhausen (and later Aphex Twin and Squarepusher) they decided to bypass the typical jazz tradition of showing virtuous skills in favour of exploring a wider form of collective development of sounds. They began to merge jazz and electronica, improvisation and experimentation, science fiction and film noir, krautrock and cyberpunk with radiance, energy and an undeniable love for the beat.
C.A.R. are a great live band who take their audience on enticing trips. Apart from Germany, they have been touring in Pakistan, India and China, where they digged deep into local music cultures. They released two albums and one EP.
Leonhard Huhn: Sax, electronics, voice
Christian Lorenzen: Wurlitzer, analog synthesizersKenn Hartwig: Double bass, electric bass
Johannes Klingebiel: Drums
Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra
A self-organized group of likeminded individuals, Berlin’s AMEO is a ensemble comprised of 18 young musicians hailing from various countries. The members have previously worked in constellations that couldn’t be more diverse – including Ensemble Intercontemporain, The Notwist, Tony Allen’s Afrobeat, the Kenny Wheeler band, Camerata Bern and post-conceptual artist Cory Arcangel.
Daniel Glatzel, the leader and saxophonist, has been the main composer since it’s inception in 2006, overseeing the group’s albums “Take Off” (2009), “Bum Bum” (2012), “Live on Planet Earth” (2014), and “VULA” (2017). Having performed in prestigious venues and festivals around the world, AMEO also hosts and curates its own genre-defying events such as their music festival “Kosmostage” and did collaborations with Hermeto Pascoal from Brasil, tribal musicians from Malawi or the Latvian chamber orchestra Sinfonietta Riga and The Notwist from Germany (on their album The devil, you & me).
In Autumn 2019 AMEO will premiere a new audio-video performance show at Berlin’s Berghain club.
Daniel Glatzel: Composition, direction, clarinet, saxophon
Oliver Roth, Laure Mourot: Flutes
Sebastian Hägele: Bassoon
Johannes Schleiermacher: Sax, flutes
Till Künkler: Trombone
Ritsche Koch, Magnus Schriefl: Trumpet
Maria Schneider: Vibraphon, perc
Anna Viechtl: Harp
Jörg Hochapfel: Synths, sampler
Kalle Zeier: Guitar
Andi Haberl: Drums
Martin Stupka: Viola
Fabiana Striffler, Grégoire Simon: Violin
Isabelle Klemt: Cello
Matthias Pichler: Bass
With two drummers, two bass players and three horns this seven-piece band creates a unique sound of hypnotic jazz mixed with intense, mysterious soundscapes. Led by bassist Lukas Kranzelbinder, Shake
Stew features some leading lights of the young Austrian and German jazz scenes. Their debut album, The Golden Fang (2016), was described by journalists as “an intergalactic road movie for the ears” and a “psycho-energetic musical masterpiece!“ Their music came to the attention of Shabaka Hutchings who joined the band on their second album Rise And Rise Again. Like Hutchings, Kranzelbinder is a prolifically talented musician. At only 30 years old he has been touring the world with Shake Stew, writing an opera, founding a festival (the Polyamory Sound Festival) and playing international jazz happenings such as the Montreal Jazz Festival and the North Sea Jazz Festival.
Lukas Kranzelbinder: Bass
Clemens Salesny: Alto sax
Mario Rom: TrumpetJohnny Schleiermacher: Tenor sax
Oliver Potratz: Bass
Niki Dolp: Drums, percussionMathias Koch: Drums, percussion
Stimming x Lambert
Martin Stimming is one of Germany’s best-known electronic live performers. In 2018 he teamed up with German piano maestro Lambert. The composer has been making waves not only for his beautifully tender piano pieces, but also for never appearing in public without his signature mask.
In 2019 they released a mini-album on Kryptox full of melancholic, harmoniously playful songs with heart-warming vibes. Lambert’s piano ideas are deconstructed by Stimming using echoes, reverbs, noise, to create unique sonic universes using elements from jazz, sounds from 1990s electronica and the repetitive aesthetics reminiscent of certain krautrock tunes.
Nesselhauf combines krautrock and Afrobeat on his albums Afrokraut I & II. In his own words: “Through the tiny window of my laboratory I observe the stars. Using my self-made antenna and ancient tape machines, I record electromagnetic waves sent from outer space. Played in reverse at triple speed I manage to decode the information herein without much use of psychoactive substances. Then I collect these fragments and tell stories from a future mankind, which seems to live scattered across the universe. They communicate their secret thoughts and wishes through music, painting a picture about what is to come for us all.“
Ralph Heidel // Homo Ludens
26 year-old saxophonist and composer Ralph Heidel released his debut album Moments of Resonance on Kryptox in 2019. Inspired by 20th century composers such as Alfred Schnittke and Charles Ives, as well as electronica producers like Alvo Noto, Boards of Canada, the edginess of avant-jazz-heads from the John Zorn universe or certain Scandinavian instrumentalists, he and his seven-member ensemble Homo Ludens found a unique approach of combining chamber music, jazz and electronica. With four strings, bass, saxophone, drums and electronic instruments the collective creates emotive moments filled with beautiful sparkling ideas, explosive detail, dramatic arcs with unexpected dynamics and meditative moments that end in euphoric culminations.
Ralph Heidel: Sax, sinth
Teresa Allgaier: Violin
Gustavo Strauss: Violin
Georg Roters: Viola
Sven Holscher: Bass
Marco Dufner: Drums
German-American singer and composer Rebekka Salomea and her four-member collective connect experimental jazz ideas with influences from R&B, electronica and drone music. Flipping between free improvisation and complex compositional structures they create unique futuristic jazz-pop. The band lists Thundercat, Sevdaliza, Erykah Badu, John Coltrane and Marina Abramovic as sources of inspiration. SALOMEA were nominated for the ‘Neuer Deutscher Jazz Preis’ and toured Europe supporting artists like Jamie Cullum and Knower. Magnolia Tree is taken from their 2018 debut album.
Rebekka Salomea: Vox, keys
Yannis Anft: Keys
Oliver Lutz: Bass
Leif Berger: Drums
Onom Agemo and the Disco Jumpers
Another Berlin band, based around saxophone virtuoso Johannes Schleiermacher (also part of Andromda Mega Express, Shake Stew, the JJ Whitefield band and Jimi Tenor’s Jazz outfit). Onom Agemo mix their jazz skills with psychadelic African vibes. When asked about their style they say: “It might be trance-jazz.”
The band spent long time in Morocco studying Gnawa music – the hypnotic West African dance music. Apart of playing many concerts with Moroccan artists they worked with African musicians like Tuareg-guitarist Ahmed Ag Kaedy from Mali, the Dansk-Mozambique singer Natalie Greffel and the Isamel Orchestra Meknes. They released three albums.
Johannes Schleiermacher: Tenor sax
Jörg Hochapfel: Synths
Kalle Zeier: GuiKalle Enkelmann: Bass
Bernd Oezsevim: Drums