24 Jan 2020 - Thorsten
Doom-Jazz | PIAS Recordings | Release date: 24 Jan 2020
Nothing new in the West. Muelheim’s finest are still fine. But maybe a bit less exciting.
Bohren und der Club of Gore are back with their first regular studio album six years after the release of Piano Nights and four years after the release of their own version of an anthology, Bohren for Beginners. Nearly thirty years into their existence, the band is now only a trio as former drummer Thorsten Benning left after the last release.
The band, that – as they themselves proclaim – was influenced by avantgarde black metal pioneers Celtic Frost and Dutch instrumental heavy rock band Gore (thus the second part of their own name), might not reveal the new levels of their sound all at once but there really are some minute changes. As the drums are even somehow softer than before (Benning was definitely more of a hard-hitter) and the whole layout of the sounds revolves even more around the saxophone and the Rhodes, one might say that the record is a very jazzy version of “Bohren”. However, if you listen carefully, you might notice that, in some parts, the record is more of an ambient thing. Morten Gass and Christoph Clöser often incorporate a somewhat dark 80s sci-fi spacey sound into their musical universe. That doesn’t mean that you automatically feel as if you are in Blade Runner, no it’s still a bar – but maybe it’s one of those clean onyx-black hotspots next to the timeloop in Alpha Centauri.
However, the unique thing about the band remains the same: The first note is being played and you lie down instantaneously on the softest of mental pillows and just let the warmth flow around, over and through you. You listen and listen and sometimes you feel as if you remember snippets from other songs, for example you might come across a reference to “Summertime”, although the band would never say it is one and it probably isn’t any way. It’s all in your head, the memories of (former Bohren) songs past – but maybe it’s just the fact that you are in a position where time doesn’t matter, where only Bohren matters. There really is nothing new in the West.