- Wareika, Elektro Guzzi and Brandt Brauer Frick. There's a spate of "live" electronic groups emerging at the moment. What that says about the relative health of the various genres that they often try so hard to imitate is anyone's guess. But the fact that they fail is wonderful for everyone. Failure, in fact, is the point. It's inevitable. What happens as a result is what makes their music so fascinating.
Wareika are the least interested in making techno. They simply are kind enough to make tunes at a tempo that might make it compatible enough for a DJ to dare to play them. The trio's last CD, Formation, had Florian Schirmacher's singing all over it. Their newest, Harmonie Park, ends with a mystical seance that seems more appropriate for a Robert Rich release.
Before all that, though, there is the kick drum. And it's a guiding light for nearly an hour of improvisation. While Elektro Guzzi and Brandt Brauer Frick are (productively) working against the groove, Wareika work with it, following it wherever it takes them. It's loose, shambolic. Yes, there are horns. (Did you expect less?)
Harmonie Park sees the group embrace the electronic side of things more fully than in the past, however. It's structured as one, long 63-minute piece of music. No stops, only a few deep breaths. Like any techno live set worth its salt, it starts from a low tempo, builds naturally to a climax and then briefly cools you down. Each portion is distinct: The guitar on Part Three slides down again and again, Part Six's smooth organ runs up against the analog detritus of the mixing board, Part Five's noodling guitar slithers underneath everything as if afraid to poke its head from underground. Yet they all work together perfectly, moving toward what seems like an inevitable end.
That end comes in Part Seven when everybody comes to the fore, full-bodied. Nobody wrestles for space, whether it be the guitar, bass, horns or the dripping sink that never gets turned off. As techno, it's a bit of a failure. As music, it's a bit of a revelation.
01. Harmonie Park, Pt. 1
02. Harmonie Park, Pt. 2
03. Harmonie Park, Pt. 3
04. Harmonie Park, Pt. 4
05. Harmonie Park, Pt. 5
06. Harmonie Park, Pt. 6
07. Harmonie Park, Pt. 7
08. Harmonie Park, Pt. 8
09. Harmonie Park, Pt. 9