By Martin Schray
August 1, 2019, Berlin
The A L'armé! Festival has always had acts that have a tendency to play very long, which can be a real challenge for the audience. I remember Steamboat Switzerland in 2013 or Caspar Brötzmann /Alexandre Babel / Massimo Pupillo in 2017, whom, frankly speaking, both missed the point to end their performances in due time. This year Practical Music (Oscar Hoogland, Jasper Stadhouders and Christian Lillinger) were the ones, opening with a two-hour long sound installation. However, in contrast to the other bands just mentioned, the sheer length of their set was part of the artistic concept and it really worked.
|Tristan Honsinger’s Hopscotch|
|Hanna Schörken/Rieko Okuda|
|Super Jazz Sandwich|
|Els Vandeweyer/DJ Illvibe/Hamid Drake feat. Real Geizt/Splidttercrist|
The set referred to Anguish’s show the night before trying to integrate hiphop into a free jazz surrounding. For this, according to the liner notes, marimba, vibraphone, metal plates, drums, record players, and voice boxes had to be turned inside out. Belgian vibraphonist Els Vandeweyer, American drummer Hamid Drake, turntablist DJ Illvibe (for those who don’t know: he’s Alexander von Schlippenbach’s son) and rapper Real Geizt / Splidttercrist tried to explore unknown territories. Visually, this was interesting, since Real Geizt (German for real spirit) actually appeared like a ghost (see the picture). Musically Vandeweyer, DJ Illvibe and Drake worked together very nicely, with Vandeweyer even playing blues riffs on the marimba in the beginning, which created an fascinating groove. When Real Geizt conjured himself, there was a different spirit, since he seemed to me like a comic version of hiphop, rather contributing some kind of poetry than real hiphop. This was foiled by DJ Illvibe’s beats and Drake’s grooves.
All in all a very challenging and exciting day of music.