September 2001 – EP reviews – centrozoon’s ‘The Divine Beast’ (“a kind of relay race across trance territory, whipping up a tautly disciplined psychedelic frenzy”)

27 Sep

centrozoon: 'The Divine Beast'

centrozoon: ‘The Divine Beast’

There are some musicians who claim to consider themselves aerials, with their feet lightly arched off the ground and their heads inclined into some kind of ether, through which they conduct the music and songs which are looking for a means to get to earth. Robert Fripp is one of these claimants, but whether his occasional disciples centrozoon think the same way is questionable.

centrozoon’s touch-guitarist Markus Reuter is a graduate of Fripp’s school of Guitar Craft, and previously played with the Craft-inspired Europa String Choir, but an enquiring look at the Centrozoon website reveals little in the way of earnest, wintry Frippian mystique (though much in the way of dry German humour). If centrozoon (of whom the other half is synth-and-beats man Bernhard Wöstheinrich) are channelling music, it’s of a much more liberating and less clotted variety than Fripp has been downloading into King Crimson over the past few years.

There’s certainly a latter-day Crimsonic element to their work – the rich swathes of Soundscapes-style ambient tone colour, the wild electronic percussion, and the brassy or droning sounds that Markus employs while soloing on his Warr Guitar. But there’s less of the tightness that makes and sometimes mars King Crimson’s music; and a more thoroughly integrated use of the clubland elements of trance, techno and garage that have recently been informing Crimsonic offshoots like BPM&M and ProjeKCts Three and X.


 
Thúsgg (Skinny and Crazed Mix) possesses that analogue-synth gastric twist that regularly seeps up into club music. Bernhard launches a rapid, broken-beat squirt-funk-and-dripping-water cave ambience, through which Markus flies big wheeling paths of Frippian improvisation in unearthly arpeggios. But barely halfway through, most of the beats quietly fall away: Markus’s chilly howl of overdriven Warr briefly rises, saxophone-like, into free-time jazz questioning, before both centrozooners dissolve into a duet of shifting ambient lambency.


 
The sixteen-minute extract from ‘The Cult of: Bibiboo’ shows an even broader example of centrozoon’s fusion of club culture and evolutionary rock textures. The duo engage in a kind of relay race across trance territory, whipping up a tautly disciplined psychedelic frenzy. It flowers from auroral ambience through thunder-drum percussion and what sounds like nods to the ‘X-Files’ theme, to warm and constellatory ambient drifts, cut by flares of harmonised Warr and quizzical harmonies.

Five-and-a-half minutes in, it’s become a glittering chillout zone covered in singing glassy loops. By nine minutes, Markus’s weaving Soundscapes are rubbing up against clipped artillery shell boom-beats, and by eleven minutes he’s razoring the starry sky with saw-toothed shapes and snarls. By the thirteen-minute marker Bernhard’s thundering distorted beats have forced Markus back into the angelic role, and they finally coast onto a home stretch of firework bangs and prismatic orchestration.

Tagging all this rich invention as “Fripp on Ecstasy” seems cheap, but it’ll do for now as we start to tune in to the powerful, thrilling hybrid music centrozoon have to offer.

centrozoon: ‘The Divine Beast’
self-released, CZCD01 (no barcode)
CD-only EP
Released:
September 2001
Get it from: download from Bandcamp or Amazon Music
centrozoon online:
Homepage Facebook Twitter MySpace Bandcamp Last FM YouTube Vimeo Google Play Pandora Spotify Amazon Music
 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Post-Punk Monk

Searching for divinity in records from '78-'85 or so…

Get In Her Ears

Promoting and Supporting Women in Music

The Music Aficionado

Quality articles about the golden age of music

ATTN:Magazine

Not from concentrate.

Xposed Club

improvised/experimental/music

I Quite Like Gigs

Music Reviews, music thoughts and musical wonderings

A jumped-up pantry boy

To say the least, oh truly disappointed

PROOF POSITIVE

A new semi-regular gig in London

We need no swords

Organized sounds. If you like.

:::::::::::: Ekho :::::::::::: Women in Sonic Art

Celebrating the Work of Women within Sonic Art: an expanding archive promoting equality in the sonic field

Ned Raggett Ponders It All

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Headphone Commute

honest words on honest music

Yeah I Know It Sucks

an absurdist review blog

Pop Lifer

Waiting for the gift of sound and vision

Good Music Speaks

A music blog written by Rich Brown

Archived Music Press

Scans from the Melody Maker and N.M.E. circa 1987-1996

OLD SCHOOL RECORD REVIEW

Where You Are Always Wrong

Fragile or Possibly Extinct

Life Outside the Womb

a closer listen

a home for instrumental and experimental music

Bird is the Worm

New Jazz: We Search. We Recommend. You Listen.

Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

eyesplinters

Just another WordPress.com site

FormerConformer

Striving for Difference

%d bloggers like this: