Monday, January 30, 2012

Bohren & der Club of Gore — Black Earth

There are groups who follow musical trends, and there are the groups that create a musical genre all by themselves. Bohren & der Club of Gore is the latter. You can find "clones" of Bohren, but none is as good in my opinion (The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble and the Dale Cooper Quartet & the Dictaphones are two of the best).

Since their second album, Sunset Mission (1995) it is safe to say Bohren & der Club of Gore have created a genre: doom-jazz (or dark jazz). A music that doesn't have much common with jazz except the instruments used (saxophone and vibraphone). In fact, the music of Bohren has far more in common with Doom Metal. It's slow, heavy and depressing. Not surprisingly, the quartet is composed of former metal musicians).

Their darkest album, and in my opinion their best, is Black Earth. It is a strange mix of jazz and ambient music. The sound is very characteristic, deep bass, very slow music. In fact, the music is so slow that its unsettling the first times you listen to this album. Black Earth has a sound that evokes the atmosphere of a rainy street at night or a smoke filled nightclub in the 20's. Like the soundtrack to an unexisting film noir movie. It is music for a nightmare, but it never gets violent. I have read many reviews making a parallel with the music of Angelo Badalamenti (especially the Twin Peaks soundtrack). And I must say it is very reminiscent of the soundtrack of a David Lynch movie.

If you take the car at night and have a lot of driving to do, Black Earth is the ideal soundtrack for the road.

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