Tuesday, Aug 30 2005 | 12:18

This new Flanger album “Spirituals” (Nonplace) is all about re-imagining a period when music was still playful in itself – because back then, there was just no reason to be too serious about it.

Back then, people would come to call their songs Spirituals, for their inspiration to sing and play them came from above and would leave them in high spirits. Which was all the more reason to sing and play their songs.

As Atomâ„¢, one of the two main players behind the Flanger project, put it, “Spirituals” goes back to a time when “music was recorded in an almost documentary manner, when such things as “production” and recording techniques and technology did not yet exist – and therefore did not influence the nature of the musical creation itself. one could define it as a musically naive period. historically the last time music contained something like an immaculate, innocent spirit.”

It is this spirit which Atomâ„¢ and his long-time Flanger comrade, Burnt Friedman, are trying to catch. Only that it’s nearly a century onward, and they are doing it their own global way. Over the last three years, both have recorded material, sending their efforts back and forth electronically between their studios in Santiago de Chile and Cologne de Germany.

All the while, both kept touring the world with their diverse musical projects, always carrying their mobile recording units along to have musicians from many corners of the world play with them. Much like the fin-de-siecle researchers who recorded the first Spirituals. Only that afterwards, both would bend the recorded material, give it a little twist to this side and that – be playful just like in the olden days, but with the use of modern instruments.

This album is not about re-constructing endless virtuoso solos via mere knob-twiddling. With “Spirituals”, Flanger first of all want to explore and relive the emotional sides of this jazz-before-jazz, its moods and sentiments. As Friedman points out, the album may very well be seen as “the restoration of a lost sensibility”.

The producers/directors of Spirituals:

Burnt Friedman, founder of the Nonplace label, records and plays live with Jaki Liebezeit. In 2005 he has formed a group with David Sylvian and Steve Jansen. Atom™, well known for his orchestral project Señor Coconut, has recently been remixing Air, Depeche Mode, Martin Gore, Cesaria Evora and Towa Tei amongst many others.

Some of the musicians on “Spirituals”:

Richard Pike (Riff Jackson III)

Sydney born Riff Jackson III appears on vocals and 6-stringed soundbox. He comes from an adventurous rock trio, the pre-legendary Gold Mice. however, it was the sound of Pivot that B. Friedman of Flanger first experienced – in this instrumental project, Riff played guitar. After a gig on a temperate night in Sydney town, he was invited to record with Mr Friedman. Years earlier, after studying music, strumming guitar and singing in the day, the dark underworld of rock’n’roll lured him in. Parallel to this exploration of his white roots and the new new new wave, Riff also discovered the world of acting and film: He scaled the theatrical heights by becoming stand-in for Ewan McGregor in Star Wars.

Laurence Pike aka MF Shakespeare

Brother of Riff, traps player and skins-man of note, Laurence was also born in Sydney, Australia (formerly New Holland). He performs with post-jazz group Triosk, currently recording for UK label Leaf (“Moment Returns”
released in 2004) and pursuing on-going collaborative efforts with Berlin’s Jan Jelinek (“1+3+1” released on ~scape 2003).

Hayden Chisholm

Hayden Chisholm is a saxophonist and composer well known for his work with the artist Rebecca Horn. Originating from New Zealand, he studied in Germany and India and has since performed all over the world. His compositions have been recorded by BBC and WDR radio and as an instrumentalist he has released several albums. He currently plays with Burnt Friedman & Jaki Liebezeit, Root 70 and Pluramon as well as creating the music for several of Rebecca Horn’s recent installations, several of which are touring the world. In 2005 his installation “moonmirror” will be featured in St Pauls Cathedral in London. Although only 29, he has spent 7 years of his life on the road giving concerts and is currently preparing a book about his musical travels.
he currently lives and works in Berlin and Cologne. Hayden plays the clarinet on many tracks of Spirituals.

Tracklisting:

01. Funeral March
02. Crime In The Pale Moonlight
03. How Long Is The Wrong Way ?
04. Down The River
05. Music Is Our Secret Code
06. Tiny Tina
07. Hope To Hear From You Soon, Honey
08. Peninsula
09. In My Car (single version)
10. In My Car (bolt mix)
11. How Long Is The Wrong Way ? (extended)
12. Crime In The Pale Moonlight (short version)

The album FlangerSpirituals” (Nonplace) is going to be released September 05, 2005.

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