Bogotá . Klangwart
2019. cd . dl . lp
Vinyl includes free CD version of the album. Recorded in Bogotá featuring members of the Meridian Brothers and Las Áñez.
The “Elder Statesmen of Neo-Krautrock”: Electro-duo Klangwart was thought-provokingly labelled as such by an inventive music journalist when presenting their previous album “Transit” (named, among others, Record of the Year in the “Avant-Rock” section of The Wire’s 2016 Critics Poll). The tag responds to an understandable attempt at finding a category for one of the most singular phenomena of the electronic music scene.
It might be more passing to call them the “Under-Statesmen”, as minimalism and understatement are key elements of the Klangwart project, founded more than 20 years ago by musician and author Timo Reuber and DJ and Staubgold label manager Markus Detmer.
Every few years, seemingly coming out of nowhere, the duo release a consistently critically acclaimed Klangwart album, give a couple of concerts, and disappear once again. This might sound of harakiri, as it contradicts all common rules of the music market. But behind it lies a profound longing for veracious expression on the border between avant-garde and entertainment.
In 2014, Klangwart travelled to the Colombian capital in order to record the material for “Bogotá” with protagonists of the local music scene: Damián Ponce (drums), César Quevedo (bass) and Eblis Álvarez (violoncello), members of The Meridian Brothers, and singers Juanita and Valentina Áñez Rothmann a.k.a. Las Áñez. The result is Klangwart’s trademark sound permeated by a Latin American pulse and pitch.
Collectively improvised and recorded in a matter of days, the raw material was later edited and mixed by Reuber at the Inkiek-Studio in Cologne. Joseph Suchy added guitar overdubs and mastered the album.
At all times unpredictable, exciting and surprising, “Bogotá” is the latest milestone in Klangwart’s ongoing musical journey.
The electronic duo Klangwart was founded in 1996 by Markus Detmer (15.03.1972) and Timo Reuber (31.10.1970) in Cologne.
Markus and Timo first met in Cologne as students of musicology in a seminar on electronic music in 1992. Spontaneous mutual sympathy due to a shared interest in all kinds of New Music, especially the minimal musics of Steve Reich and Terry Riley. Four years later, the idea of making music together is put into action. Starting point of their musical collaboration are intensive joint listening experiences. They discover the pioneering music of the "Krautrock" era while at the same time taking in the exciting developments and innovations within Cologne's electronic music scene of the 1990s, which centred around Thomas Brinkmann, Burnt Friedman, Mouse On Mars and Pluramon.
During their initial improvisations, Markus and Timo quickly found common musical ground. In the ensuing all night recording-sessions they developed their own musical language as well an idiosyncratic working method. They see themselves as "music workers" and "sound explorers". In a dream, the idea of the "Klangstelle" is born, with Markus and Timo as "sound station attendants", who "refuel" the curious listener with unusual sounds and acoustic environments.
In 1997 the mini-cd "Inkiek" was the first Klangwart-release on their own "Klangstelle" label. This was followed in 1998 by the electronic suites "immer weiter" and "Nirgendland" (issued as a limited tape editions only) and the first lp "Köln-Olpe". The latter was a musical discussion of migration between the poles of the rural and the urban living space. In 1999, the lp "Zwei" ("Two") followed, a study in sound based on only two sounds. It was divided into two parts: loud (dynamic, raw, fierce, aggressive) and quiet (calm, focussed, concentrated, well balanced).
Between 1997 and 2007, Klangwart performed over a hundred concerts all over the world (Paris, Sydney, Tokyo, Beijing) and established themselves as key players in the uncharted area between composed and improvised electronic music.
Since 1999, Klangwart have been experimenting at their concerts with a limited pool of sounds and loops. From this, the two generated the concert piece "Stadtlandfluss" in real time which they have been (re-)creating as a continuous experiment for many years and which they finally recorded for Staubgold in 2008 (staubgold 80 cd/dl/lp). After meeting at Mini Midi Festival in Beijing in 2008, Klangwart are currently performing "Stadtlandfluss" in collaboration with the Swiss artist Andy Guhl (ex-Voice Crack) adding a visual dimension to their extra sensorial musical experience.
In autumn 2009, Klangwart have finished recording a new album, "Sommer", which will be released on Staubgold in June 2010.