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Live At Skymall . Groupshow


staubgold 122
2013. dl . lp

Jan Jelinek, Hanno Leichtmann and Andrew Pekler have formed a trio that can truly be called a supergroup. As solo artists, all three members are among the most renowned of Berlin's electronic musicians. When playing together as Groupshow the three instrumentalists - themselves largely informed by minimalist sensibilities - engage with the idiom of free-form collective improvisation, which has a long tradition in Germany dating back to the days of Fluxus and Krautrock. Consequentially the individual members' roles are not entirely fixed.

"As a tendency," says the band, "Jelinek uses a sampler, effects and a mixer. Leichtmann plays drums, cymbals and synthetic drum pads. Pekler manipulates a tabletop guitar, synthesizer and effects pedals." The results are at once radical, other-worldly and intensely hypnotic. Groupshow performances do not recreate previously rehearsed or recorded music. Instead, they attempt to make an open-ended aesthetic process both audible and tangible.

Wherever possible, Groupshow position themselves and their equipment in the middle of the performance space, avoiding the use of a stage, risers or any kind of spatial separation between performer and audience. The lighting remains static and clinical throughout the performance while real-time video, filming from directly above the musicians and projected onto a wall or screen, shows the three members playing and manipulating their tangled pile of equipment.

Whenever possible, Groupshow begin playing before any audience members enter, thus deliberately avoiding the dramaturgical imperative of an opening from which the rest of the musical narrative is expected to unfold. As the intensity of the music and degree of the audience's attention are both subject to flux, Groupshow set no time limit to their performances and members of the audience are free to come and go, engage and disengage with the music as they please.

"Live At Skymall" was recorded live in Berlin and Lisbon in 2010, 2011 and 2012.


Jan Jelinek: In 1998 Jelinek started to release his works under a number of pseudonyms (Farben, Gramm) adapting his primary sampling premise to a surprising range of different sounds. During the following years, Jan Jelinek collaborated with artists like Sarah Morris or German author Thomas Meinecke, played a range of laptop or gadget/modular-synth based live sets, worked with improvisation ensembles from Japanese trio Computer Soup to the Australian jazz formation Triosk, wrote and produced radio-plays/collages for the SWR, created a number of audio-visual performances with video artist Karl Kliem and founded the label Faitiche.

Hanno Leichtmann: As Static and Forest Jackson he recorded five electronica/pop albums and several 7" and 12" records, as the Vulva String Quartett he produced house music. He is a member of Groupshow and Denseland (with David Moss and Hannes Strobl). As Hanno Leichtmann he released three albums so far, the latest being the soundtrack for Christoph Schlingensief's last movie "African Twintowers". As a drummer he joined several electronic projects in the studio and on stage, among others Pole, Daniel Bell and Raz Ohara and the Odd Orchestra. Hanno Leichtmann is also the man behind the labels Picture/Disk and I'm So Blasé (with Nicholas Desamory).

Andrew Pekler: Andrew Pekler was born in the U.S.S.R. and grew up in the U.S.A. He has resided in Germany since the mid-1990s. Utilizing both improvisation and composition, Andrew Pekler integrates elements of jazz, pop, electronic music, exotica and modern classical into his sampling-based musical sensibility. He has released several highly regarded albums, played concerts in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia and composed music for film, dance and theatre.