Afanassi Viebeg

Karawanenmusik V

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Released ten years after Karawanenmusik I-IV, Karawanenmusik V sees Kazakhstani-German artist Afanassi Viebeg coming back to the desert. The purpose of this album is to offer the illusion of a journey through the desert -- today's desert, not its romantic counterpart. Camels and Bedouins are surrounded by sounds of the city and the pulse of electronica. Viebeg has a fusion thing going, but instead of trying to shoehorn-fit "ethnic" elements into techno tracks, he tangles up the two around an unspoken sociopolitical commentary -- much like Drem Bruinsma's Six Reels of Joy -- and creative production that owes a lot to Austro-German experimental techno (Frank Bretschneider, B. Fleischmann). Besides a couple of dancefloor-oriented tracks ("Tuareg," "Way to Nowhere"), the album focuses on short pieces either of an atmospheric nature or collage-like. Five of them were originally conceived for a play. They are well-integrated to the whole. Some pieces also feature the voice of Leo Solter (aka Leo Bullfrog). Highlights include the walloping rhythm track in "Die Katastrophe im Kopf" (it gives a vivid impression of a camelback ride) and the delicate "Steinkarawane." Those only looking for some techno with an exotic flavor will find this Caravan Music to be more cerebral than that -- a good thing, really!