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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Markus Stockhausen - Electric Treasures (Aktivraum, 2008) **

German trumpeter Markus Stockhausen has always walked the thin line between artistry and commercial interests. As much as I appreciated his small acoustic ensembles with Angelo Comiso and Christian Thomé on "Es War Einmal ..." or with Ferenc Snetberger on "Dreams" , in the past years, as much I am disappointed in this album. To be frank : I find it dull and without inspiration, despite the quality of the four musicians, with Vladyslav Sendecki on keyboards, Arild Andersen on bass and Patrice Héral on drums. Electronics are often used by lower quality musicians to create effects which disguise their lack of instrumental skills. Here you kind of get the opposite, four stellar musicians who lower their standards to play around with electronics and who sound like musicians who want to create effects to disguise their lack of instrumental skills, although we know it is not the case. And to make it even worse, the electronics sound awful, often reminiscent of cheap playing around with a 70s synthesizer. The approach also clearly exposes the lack of ideas in the compositions and the improvisations. There is no depth, no melodic or emotional elaboration, there is no story to tell, no specific musical voice to be heard, just empty sound, and repetitive at that ... it may be electric, but it's certainly not electrifying.

Listen and download from iTunes.

© stef


Anonymous said...

I think the electronics sound awesome. If it ain't your cup of tea then that's just the way you is.