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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hyperactive Kid - 3 (Jazzwerkstatt, 2008) ****

This is the third release by the young German trio Hyperactive Kid, which is Philipp Gropper on saxophone, Ronny Graupe on 7-string guitar and Christian Lillinger on drums. All three are technically excellent players, but they use their skills in a very controlled fashion, not to demonstrate prowess, but rather to create complex, composed pieces, with rather abstract themes, with lots of variations in tempo, rhythm and mood. At first hearing, it all sounds loose and gentle, yet these three musicians interact like one, with an unbelievable focus and coherence.
The most hyperactive track is "Ländler", on which very long unison lines are played at high speed. "Herbst" is a little more avant-garde, with muted guitar sounds. Yet the best track is "Rockert Tilo", a long and intense piece with fierce sax soloing and wonderful drumming and guitar-playing, that despite the often wild roamings always falls back on its feet, agile and stable, even when adventurous. It is also the track on which the emotional component is a little stronger. It reminds of some other young European sax+guitar bands like Firomanum: lots of technical skills, but very often it sounds like dancing on the same square meter, everything is very carefully organised, including the improvisations within a self-created confined space. If I can give one advice : break out even more, guys. Carve out your own sound. Nevertheless, stellar musicians, and a great band with lots of promise.

© stef


joesh said...

Hi Stef

Just sent you an email about this group, so I guess your review answers my questions. (*)

Good luck with the crashed hard disk.

(*) = didn't know where (what category) to look this up on your blog.