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Friday, Oct 06 2017 | 03:28
Image: 1611555 Radio Citizen is back on Sonar Kollektiv with his new album Silent Guide.

A1. Silent Guide
A2. Ethxxmologie
A3. SaraSong
B1. Opium
B2. Grand Jam
B3. Waiting
C1. It’s Not Enough
C2. Bangu
C3. Serene
D1. Dense Dance
D2. Ninguém
D3. Kein Planet
D4. Smoke

“Never change a winnig team”. That's what Radio Citizen's Niko Schabel must have thought
when he decided to release his fourth album once again on Sonar Kollektiv. After the success
of “The Night & The City” (SK310LP / CD) from 2015 and the productive collaboration ever
since this seems like a wise resolution. Schabel's idea to retrieve to a mountain cabin in
Salvenberg, Tirol with his band and tons of equipment turned out to be an even more crucial
factor to the cause. Here they could create and record new songs and bring them together
neatly for the new album. The 13 tracks assembled here on “Silent Guide” are – each on its
own and in its entirety anyway – best proof how wonderfully this approach has worked out.
For instance, you'd only have to listen to “Grand Jam” to get the picture: A composite work of
Schabel (on synthesizer) with Bernd Oeszevim (on drums), Maasl Maier (on bass), Marja
Burchard (on rhodes) and Johannes Schleiermacher (on synthesizer) leaves every musician
enough air to breathe and even much more room for personal development. A qualification
running like a common thread through the album's length. Don't worry though, “Silent Guide”
isn't a random collection of live jams and untamed solos. “SaraSong” (composed by drummer
Oeszevim) is a beautiful, gracious tune borne by Marja Burchard's trombone and Niko
Schabel's bass clarinet packed in a semi-complex arrangement with two parts linked up
ingeniously. Or take the opener and title track “Silent Guide”: Here you have Natalie Greffel's
voice becharming you. You literally can feel how much fun it must have been to bring this
album collectively forth. On “Ninguém” Greffel sings in Portuguese and on “It's Not Enough”
she's supported vocally by Marja Burchard for a mantra-like chorus superimposed over the
captivating drumming by Bernd Oeszevim (the first part is a 33/16 beat by the way). On this
track Johannes Schleiermacher plays the flute, on “Kein Planet” Niko Schabel plays an alto
saxophone and on “Ethxxmologie” you hear a whole brass section featuring a bass clarinet, a
tenor saxophone and two trombones.

On this album Radio Citizen indulges in its love for live recorded instruments like never
before. When all the previous efforts (with “Warm Canto” as an exception) were heavily based
on samples, Radio Citizen's sound gains spontaneity and charisma. Besides the (on the cover
illustrated) happy gathering of synthesizers and keyboards there are also exceptionally
many wind instruments on the album. An album floating in musical nowhere land between
Krautrock, Free Jazz, Club Culture, Dub and maybe even Pop. Along these lines “Silent Guide”
is a masterpiece of deliberate border crossing. The Cool Jazz track “Smoke”, written by
Schabel and with Julian Schleiermacher on tenor saxophone, is the appropriate finale of this
thrilling journey. We will wax lyrical about this album in years to come.
Available from 17.11.2017
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