Karlrecords is excited to announce a 5 LP / 5 CD box set celebrating the 100th anniversary of IANNIS XENAKIS (on May 29th, 2022), one of the most influential 20th century avantgarde composers.
As with „La Légende d’Eer“ and „Persepolis“ before, the tracks have been newly mixed by longtime zeitkratzer sound engineer MARTIN WURMNEST and mastered by RASHAD BECKER and now reveal their full sonic range and dynamics. „This is the definitive Persepolis“ stated The Wire (May 2018, issue 411) and this will be true for the new sets as well. Scheduled for release as part of the Perihel series curated by REINHOLD FRIEDL in January 2022 and flanked by several performances across Europe in the Xenakis jubilee year (details tba), while preorder starts early December.
The furious double LP “AL AZRAQAYN” documents KARKHANA (with members of KONSTRUKT, THE DWARFS OF EAST AGOUZA, LAND OF KUSH, PETER BRÖTZMANN CHICAGO TENTET, “A” TRIO) at their very best and intense: live on stage.
Consisting of seven of the most adventurous and innovative artists from the Middle Eastern experimental scene (and a veteran jazz percussionist from Chicago), KARKHANA are surely among the most unique and interesting ensembles around. When MAURICE LOUCA (THE DWARFS OF EAST AGOUZA), SAM SHALABI (LAND OF KUSH, THE DWARFS OF EAST AGOUZA), UMUT ÇAĞLAR (KONSTRUKT), MAZEN KERBAJ (“A” TRIO, JOHNNY KAFTA ANTI-VEGETARIAN ORCHESTRA), MICHAEL ZERANG (PETER BRÖTZMANN CHICAGO TENTET), SHARIF SEHNAOUI (“A” TRIO, ORCHESTRA OMAR) and TONY ELIEH (ORCHESTRA OMAR, JOHNNY KAFTA ANTI-VEGETARIAN ORCHESTRA ) come together to perform and / or record, the result is as diverse as their individual musical backgrounds. The septet’s sound is neither retro nor avantgarde, not folklore nor jazz or rock – it’s an astonishing blend of all these different styles and elements where seductive oriental melodies can intensify and turn into a psychedelic freak-out, fuelled by reeds, guitars and electronics, only to re-start again from quiet sounds till the ensemble seeks catharsis in a collective improv outburst! Defying simple categorization, and in lack of proper terms for the intense experience of KARKHANA’s music (as well as the member’s other projects mentioned before), someone labelled it “free Middle Eastern music”. And it’s not surprising that these skilled musicians are at their best live on stage – as documented on this live recording from a furious, highly energetic concert at Bimhuis / Amsterdam!
KARKHANA are: Mazen Kerbaj: trumpet, objects, electronics Umut Çağlar: double reeds, bamboo flutes Sam Shalabi: oud, electric guitar Sharif Sehnaoui: electric guitar Maurice Louca: organ, synthesizer Tony Elieh: electric bass Michael Zerang: drums, darbouka
Credits: Recorded live at Bimhuis / Amsterdam on july 3rd, 2019 All music by Karkhana except “Sidi Mansour” a tunisian folk theme by Cheikh Mohamed Boudaya الشيخ محمد بودية. Artwork by Mazen Kerbaj. Inner gatefold picture by Tony Elieh (Inter Arts Center, Malmö, 2018) Mastered & cut by Helmut Erler at D&M, Berlin, in january 2021
the first chapter of the „raum“-trilogy by dominik grenzler aka an moku and stefan schmidt. finely crafted ambient / soundscapes using bass, cello, electronics and field recordings.
the album: as for many musicians, if there was anything positive about the lockdown in the spring of 2020, it was having more time to create music, to experiment and to maybe even start a completely new project with someone you may never have worked with before. when dominik grenzler aka an moku, a sound artist and bass player based in zurich, approached stefan schmidt (guitarist, composer and improviser from baden-baden) with the idea of collaborating, it turned out the initial spark for a fruitful process and artistic exchange: within just a couple of weeks they managed to craft an album which turned out edgy and harmonic at the same time. despite its abstractionism, „raum“ has a very organic feeling to it, provides a richness of details and finely processed sounds of different origins like bass, cello, field recordings and a vast array of electronic equipment. according to the 2 musicians, the process of creating the ten tracks was a smooth and intuitive one with hardly any need to discuss the concept or details, the communication took place within the music and the exchanged files.
the musicians: dominik grenzler (born 1977) is a sound artist and bass guitar player with a spot for experimental and ambient soundscapes. In 2008, after years of playing e-bass in several bands or being hired for concert tours, he began with the initial recording sessions for an moku. the literal translation of the japanese word “anmoku” is “tacit, unsaid, implicit” conveying that an idea or thought cannot be put into words but is subconsciously understood. inspired and animated, with this approach, dominik’s abstract, cinematic music gives the listener room for imagination and interpretation. his approach to ambient is highly personal, as he manages to generate tension with a hidden musicality, drowned in a miasma of organic, yet manipulated sounds. dominik often describes an moku as distinctive atonal madness. privately, dominik grenzler lives and works in his adopted hometown of zurich where he co-owns a café with an artisan cake bakery section.
stefan schmidt (born 1974) is a guitarist, composer, improviser and teacher. he gathered his first musical experiences as a member of various punk bands and later studied classical guitar at the hochschule für musik trossingen with professor andreas higi and at the conservatorio juan josé castro in buenos aires with victor villadangos. while early projects (e.g. farang) and several collaborations put focus on distorted sounds and rhythms, recent works center on slowly evolving structures, sound design and free improvisation, giving more emphasis on his main instrument, the classical guitar, and the exploration of other stringed instruments such as tenor ukulele, fretless bass ukulele, fretless classical guitar, electric guitar, [d]ronin & ronin, stringed psalter, cello and baroque lute.
all tracks composed and produced by an moku and stefan schmidt mastered by weldroid cover artwork by stefan schmidt electronics, field recordings, bass guitar by an moku electronics, field recordings, cello, vocals by stefan schmidt