Kammerflimmer Kollektief

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Wildling Review

by Ned Raggett

Kammerflimmer Kollektief's work has covered collaborations and remix collections, but their own meeting-in-the-middle group approach is the key, and on their fourth album, Wildling, the trio feels like they've reached a new level of creative inspiration matched with immediately inviting sonic textures. Suggestions of the band's inspirations, as on past releases, continue to play a major role in situating their work -- the rich guitars, with an almost gently yearning feeling on "Move Right In" call to mind David Gilmour's most serene work for Pink Floyd, while "Spookin' the Horse" is the Lee Hazlewood/Nancy Sinatra number that never was, all dreamily hushed reverb, mysterious whispering, and a sense of drama suggesting lost cowboys caught in red sunsets. But it's key to sense how their nods to styles don't consist of full re-creations or pastiches, but riffs to build their own compositions on -- thus Heike Aumüller's vocal work is hardly meant to be Nancy Sinatra, instead suggesting strange, not quite understandable ghosts. At the band's most expansive, on the near quarter-of-an-hour-long "In Translation (Version)," the use of everything from harmonium to squealed, buried brass parts, all working around a steady bass anchor, results in something with the impact of a film soundtrack. Meanwhile, the Delmore Schwartz nod in the title of "Time Is the Fire in Which We Burn" shows that for a predominantly instrumental act, the trio has a strong sense of wider cultural marks to aim for, much as their music suggests.

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