KELLERKIND BERLIN: Way Out (2022)
“A flawless production, a very musical, hyper melodious and lively album”
1 Detached 8:02
2 Mayimpression 7:16
3 Frühlingserwachen 7:00
4 Hafenmomente 5:14
5 EMsax 6:48
6 Little School of Berlin 7:11
7 Mellow Bells 8:45
8 Es Lebt 4:16
(CD/DDL 54:36) (V.F.)
(EM of various styles)
Honestly! It took me a long time to decide to write to you about this new artist, that Ron Boots describes as having a modern and powerful sound, who is offering concise and well structured electronic music (EM) in the style of Johannes Schmoelling. At the very least here on WAY OUT! A period of reflection because Kellerkind Berlin's music transcends the genre with a very nice musical texture where the synths have this sonic perfume that mixes saxophone and oboe and where the keyboards have a more limpid tone than the term. It's at the limit of Easy Listening and Jazz, with a more progressive touch. And like many artists our ears are discovering for the first time, Christian Gorsky has been playing with synths for over 40 years. Back then he owned 2 synthesizers, including the Casio CZ-3000, and learned the basics in his parents' basement. He played with friends, composed bits of music and also experimented recordings a lot with 2 tape recorders. As life went on, he started a family and became a very successful cabinetmaker. He even built the furniture for some of Mario Schönwälder's synthesizers as well as the one for the famous Memotron from Manikin. It's at the beginning of 2010 that the taste for playing synths again reappeared. Gradually, he acquired new instruments and put his compositions on the website Jamendo. Unhappy with the royalty's system, he switched to Bandcamp and launched his own label, Kissing Sounds, in 2016 with a first CD, Songs For Travelling. This label has produced over 20 CDs in addition to a compilation called There Is More ... made with artists he met on Facebook. And no, Kellerkind Berlin has no connection with Detlev Keller or the Berliner style of EM. It just stands for Cellar Kid Berlin. Although he admits to being influenced by the big names of the time; Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Robert Schröeder and others, the music on this 25th release of the Kissing Sounds label has nothing to do with the Berlin School style. Or very little. The 8 tracks on WAY OUT, which is available as a manufactured CD and as a 24bit 96 kHz download, mix essences of jazz, rock and pop in a universe that flirts slightly with some old school textures.
Detached begins with heavy percussions, the beats of which are muffled by the echo. Its opening is of the dramatic procession kind with a metronomic precision of the beats that become more stimulated by the appearance of cymbals' rattling. Nostalgia-filled mist layers complete this vision of theatrical tragedy in a fascinating, driving rhythmic fusion. Already, the sharpness of the keyboard keys surprises by drawing an aerial melody which seems to shiver in front of this icy limpidity. On the other hand, this tint of Jazz in the harmonies of the synthesizer make a marvelous harmonic counterweight with breaths that perfume our ears with the melancholy of the oboes. Kellerkind Berlin takes good advantage of the 8 minutes of this track to propose duels between the keyboard harmonies and the synth solos that remain closely linked to the main structure. Even in its brief ambient passages. For WAY OUT, Christian Gorsky wanted to deepen the rhythmic texture of his music. So he invited percussionist and bassist José Roman Duque on 5 of the 8 tracks that make up his new album. Energetic and lively, Mayimpression introduces this Floridian musician in a good up-tempo that the bass, absolutely devouring, and the drums propel towards a more Free-Jazz dimension. Gorsky is very skilled at the keyboard and uses more than one line of this instrument to create an interesting harmonic duel that embraces the drumming perfectly. Frühlingserwachen is the first track with an electronic flavor and a rhythm created by the sharp oscillations of the synth arrangements. Static and yet furious, this rhythm mainly serves the cause of the keyboard and its harmonies skillfully dispersed by the static tornado of the rhythm.
A haze-filled cornet blast goes in our ears as Hafenmomente opens with a rhythm ringed between an ambient and slightly driving vision. The bass is simply infectious here, while the saxophone and oboe texture of the synth lights up a nostalgic backdrop with a hint of drama. A rumbling bass and percussions in the tone enliven EMsax's very jazz downtempo. Little School of Berlin is the second track on the album with a Berliner electronic feel. Here, as everywhere in the 55 minutes of WAY OUT, the rhythmic portion remains soberly electronic while the keyboard and the synth are in multilines mode, both in the harmonies and the arrangements. Its funereal opening leads to an electronic rhythm with a saxophone synth tone over an evolving structure that elaborates a fanfare approach with drum rolls. A good album always hides a beautiful melody and Mellow Bells is that of this latest album of the Kellerkind Berlin universe. A beautiful ambient ballad with a synth that layers a poignant tune over the dramatic effects of the percussions. There's a bit of Detached in here! José Roman Duque comes back to add that organic texture of his bass in the colossal Es Lebt whose rubbery and bouncy rhythm of its opening translates into a superb composition that reminds so much of some of Johannes Schmoelling's compositions that it's confusing.
A flawless production, a very musical, hyper melodious and lively album as well as a not too intrusive Jazz texture, if you are less fond of the genre, WAY OUT finally has more pros than cons if your ears want to be hooked to something different while staying quite close to the big names of EM, think of Schroeder and Schmoelling. I was seduced enough to make another attempt with the previous album that Kellerkind Berlin sent me, Musikkonstruktionen. I'll tell you more about it later...
Sylvain Lupari (May 5th, 2022) *****
Available at Kellerkind Berlin Bandcamp