Lokomotiv Konkret

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Lokomotiv Konkret is a Swedish free jazz skronk trio that has as much subtlety as the Peter Brötzmann Die Like a Dog Quartet. The band is comprised of three of that country's most well-known and well-traveled musicians: Dror Feiler on reeds and live electronics; Tommy Björk on drums and a million percussion instruments; and Sören Runolf on electric guitar, cello, and synthesizer. Separately and together they have collaborated with and backed musicians as diverse as Anthony Braxton, Phil Minton, Vladimir Tarasov, Derek Bailey, Willem Breuker, Henry Kaiser, and David Thomas. The Tarasov reference is especially poignant here because if Lokomotiv Konkret is reminiscent in its terrorist approach to musical aesthetics and its humorous outlook on improvisation of the Ganelin Trio, it cannot be a mistake. The Ganelins looked upon free improvisation as an extension of the jazz spirit as do the Swedes here; their radical, fun-based approach to tearing down the seriousness surrounding free improvisation is refreshing in that it allows noise to be noise and music to be music, most of the time interchangeably. Musique concrète is a formulation of principles by which the Lokomotivs offer temperance to a wild and wooly process of sound generation where soling is ensemble play and vice versa. Spare, languid passages of a single beat, played measure for measure are suddenly interspersed with guitar feedback and synth scree, while a bull-roaring saxophone delightfully takes apart some country or other's national anthem and folk songs before slipping into an ensemble read of a fractured funk groove and back onto a quote from Charlie Parker's "Donna Lee," and then returning to the dark night of the skronk and so on. There are pieces that are titled here, and others within them that are not, but the most telling is "Make Noise, Not War," which is as self-explanatory an anthem as there needs to be. Hilarious, maddening, psychotic, and, above all, fun, this trio, who has been playing together for nearly 30 years, has a corner on the market for combining weirdness and wonderfulness.

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