While researching the post i did for Bohren and Der Club of Gore, i decided that i needed to hear more music in a similar opened vein. Stumbling upon the charming sobriquet 'Doom Jazz', i set to work, overturning chunks of audial asphalt thatled me to a number of intriguing releases, the first and best being The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble.
This is their first, eponymous release, and it starts off walking similar Bernard Hermann rain-slicked alleyways as Bohren, with 'The Nothing Changes', but quickly veers off into seamier, more neon-riddled avenues. With 'Pearls for Swine' comes the most notable feature of this ensemble, THE DRUMS. They come, hard and heavy, going off like a .45 in yr fist, alternately pummeling and caressing. Sounding more like next-door neighbors of Burial's or Dj Shadow's, than a downtrodden Chet Baker relapse, TKDJ explores a downtempo, d'n b or dubstep vibe, that occasionally threatens to bust into breakcore territory, as the percussion threatens and cajoles, at times breaking into unrelenting digital dithering hardcore. This is tempered by the layers of velvety saxophone, groovy basslines, and saccharine heartbreaking strings, that provide a lovely melancholy ambience. One of the best things about this group is that they are a live ensemble, originally formed to provide scores for old silent films by the likes of F. W. Murnau and Fritz Lang. This is not some bedroom sequencer afficianado, this is played by REAL musicians, and talented ones at that.
The gripping beats and tasteful, gloomy melodicism make this perfect for late night introspection or gettin' sweaty on the dance floor. From the moment i pressed play, this album has grabbed me by the boiling brainstem and held on. Its midnight has seeped into my afternoons, making my days more deadly and mysterious. These guys deserve to be as well known as the big names mentioned above. Let them bring you into the Haunted Ballroom.
The Kilimanjaro DarkJazz Ensemble: part 1 part 2
hawks - barnburner
3 hours ago