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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Konstrukt & Ken Vandermark - Kozmik Bazaar (Karlrecords 2019) ****

By Hinrich Julius

The latest output of Konstrukt in its series with guests is a recording with Ken Vandermark. The team of Umut Çağlar (electric guitar, synthesizer, gralla, guimbri) and Korhan Futacı (alto saxophone, instant loops, vocal) is this time augmented with Apostolos Sideris (double bass) and Berkan Tilavel (drums, electronic percussion) and of course the special guest Ken Vandermark (tenor saxophone, clarinet).

Konstrukt has a long history of cooperations with international guests. Currently documented are ones with:
This list is impressive and Konstrukt is able to adapt to all guests. Here, Vandermark seems to bring a very controlled attitude to the music. The wild excursions into free jazz are there, but mostly kept under the surface of an often gentle melodic surface creating a tension that especially after repeated listening adds to the fire of the music.

The record starts with a reference to Ornette Coleman. “Diggin’ that Harmolody” cites phrases associated with the playful melodies of Ornette Coleman while shouting out loudly. The guitar cries and broods heavily under it. The next piece “Semazen” reveals the studio recording. The saxophone states a simple melody or better tone progression, the guitar creates a psychedelic atmosphere while bass and drums delay the rhythm – live it would be difficult to sustain the cool temper. In “East of West, West of East” electronic percussion (as it is called on the record – to me it sounds like the old drum-machines in dance-music) and guimbri create a mid-eastern flavor which from its rhythmic side does relate to Ornette Colemans electric free funk period. Memories of “Dancing in your Head” with the Master Musicians of Joujouka come up.

Side two starts with a blow-out of the two saxophones to which bass, drums and guitar provide a rock-solid basis: classic rock with a distorted guitar (“Ex-cess”). The next piece quiets down the mood. Distant bass, synth sounds and a remote speaking voice begin, the clarinet of Ken Vandermark takes over, but stays as calm as the voice ending with a distant quiet proclamation of the title of the piece (“Bammm”). The quiet, energetic mood continues in the final number. A cosmic background created by guitar, loops and supportive drum-beats allow bass and saxophones to rub each other. No melody is there, it all is about creating a psychedelic sound (“Cocoon”).

This record should appeal to everyone who likes the more rock-side of free-jazz. The very controlled attitude of the players make the moments of individual players crying out even more effective. Konstrukt continues to adapt to guests and produces music that eclectic cosmic freejazz-rock with a strong stamp of this time Ken Vandermark. Highly recommended and available as LP and download from Karlrecords.


Anonymous said...

“East of West, West of East” blew up my head completely!!

By the way, what about hausu records free jazz albums?

Unknown said...

I agree that "East of West, West of East" is a convicing free-rock-ethno-jazz piece. Personally I am not aware of Hausu records free jazz albums. Do you mean the label "Hausu Mountain" and which records would be more in field of free jazz / improvisation?

Anonymous said...

Yes, "Hausu Mountain", sorry for my "lapsus linguae".