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By Thomthom Geigenschrey

We hope to present reviews from Thomthom on a regular basis. At the moment - because this music section is a non-profit operation, Thomthom is kindly contributing his work to us free of charge. This is the second of his reviews and it is presented exactly as he sent it to us - untouched and un edited.  Please forward comments directly to Thomthom.
This is a concert impresson review of Caspar Brötzmann: 
The comeback of the guitar schamane 

Caspar Brötzmann last concert in the late fall of the last century (1999) in Berlin, -location: Columbiafritz/Berlin/Tempelhof 

Thursday night: Berlin stops breathing. At the crystal clear nightsky with thru and thru screams the wildgeese fly to the south. A flying V in the sky. An astonishing noise and appearance, that if you believe in spiritual phenomenons might have been initiated by oe of the greatest musical schamans of berlin. He doesnt play Flying V, but a fabulous Fender Stratocaster. A guitargiant in both senses- musical terms and bodyheight. 

Tall and lonely I saw him once celebrating a soloflight, a pulling-in-catharsis and schamane-performance, a soulhunting and soulcleaning in the good old 80's-days at the beginning of Sonic Youth-era, as Henry Rollins performed his speeches in coallision with Lydia Lunch. Onceupon a time in the north of berlin, in the legendary Sputnik Kino, an old movietheatre where sometimes beatnik-happenings, performances and concerts took place. That was before Noiserock and before Helmet, whose guitarist Page Hamilton CASPAR BRÖTZMANN - thats the man I am telling you here about - made a strong challenging noise-duo-manifest with on an album later on. Caspar Brötzman, thats the man and his name, the big tall son of german Free Jazz terrorist Peter Brötzman began as Punkrocker and soon became a legend in its own remarkable style as Caspar Brötzmann and his Massaker played in one league with all the noise-experimentators like The Swans or Sonic Youth or later God . His albums are guitarmusic in its own true- to -the- bone sense. 

Caspar experimentizes a lot in his practiseroom: with feedbacks, overtones and soundmathematics and aesthetics, expression thru minimalism and soundexcursiions and extremes of silence and distortion-dynamics, song-architecture in terms of de- and construction. So this big boy very shy by the way but one time on stage very wild and expressive like Hendryx' german white son. this shy giant who pulls the strangest and most animalistic noisepaintings out of his FENDER Stratocaster - was he the reason, the startsignal sign for the start of the wildgeese flight to winter exile? May be Baby.. Who Knows? (which is also a good hendryx tune bythe way) The audience of his concert happening might know ! A concert ritual which was quite something of a catharsis but relaxter and flowing , more meditative than in former times. So the audience might know. It stood like a rabbitt to the snake stoned in a mixture of being turned to stone and being bewitched in a certain safety- or respectful distance before Caspar and his new/old reactivated Massaker....- and was blown away - in its truly sense; or hypnotised, those, who could resist the frequencies and loudness pressure waves.

Nobody knew what happened. We did let it happen. Brötzmann and his Massaker did what their name satnds for, but in a different new way of letting the feedbacks and (over)tones flow and float and n o t battle. A chain of associations of M-Words came to mind: Monoliths- Minimalism - Martialistism- Monotony (in its best meaning like the krauts CAN taught us) were pouring into the room and filled it up until the ceiling but still leaving space for ...space ...pauses ..driftaway mo(ve)ments and esoteric flightfeelings. So on one hand the room was filled with flows on the other with compact screamings and drawing guitarexplosions of this privately totally introvertive Guitarrist. His new mostly solo on his own and in one tour -de -force in only few days and one piece recorded album MUTE MASSAKER full of long epic impressive Solopieces, solid like a rock but spacy and perforated transparent enough, isnt titled like this for nothing.. Brötzmann mutates the Guitar- and Rockmusic, which already was declared dead several times. But it only depends and counts what you do with or to it.The monumental proof against that declaration is this boy, who tall and concentrated does (t)his Loudness-cures, totally inmprovised or not - you never know or can tell - is getting us and him out of a normal context of space and time, and transcendents everything into new dimensions. Draws us into black holes or builds up big manifestos, walls with whom he keeps away everything from him, always taking distance and coming very close in one. Emotional waves and descriptions of isolation and total soulopenings. Caspar more and more develops to be the son of his extremistic, pushed by his breakthru's Free Jazz -Father Peter. Freer and freer he plays, improvises, lets himself go and flow into guitarmusic which is neither dependent to the instrument, but played on it, nor to any trendoppurtunism. 

This muisc is much more modern and avantgarde than many of the so-called actual music nowadays- also regarding the electronic genre. Because in its structures and atmospheres, his psychedelical trancy effect , aura and flow new kinds of intensive Ambientmusic and Trancerituals are born, qualities and approaches, which nowadays new elektronik-gurus claim for themselves via Ambient- Trance- und Tekknomusic. But Caspars Musik is beating their beating music alone with his physical presence and his genius : thats pure physical experiencable Trance-Ambient-atmosphere. Firmly based on his both companions, who via tribal drumming and bassdrive create subbassfrequencies Grooves and basic stands for him, the great Caspar, sunken in or battling with his toning dreams and conversations with his guitar developing corny headfilms of rocky mountain- and moonish landscapes. Impressionistical paintings, in which with monotone meditative celebration he builds rockmonoliths, only to destroy them in slowmotion in the next minutes (or not - depends on). Therefore he fuses chromatic intervals with noiseattacks, mutated Blues- and Jazzlicks with feedback-sirensingings, minored chords,Tritonusses and other silent or eruptive dissonant intermezzos and interruptions, or grooves up the things with minimalistic Triole-Pulses. Dynamics of loud and louder and much louder and very silent art of tonecreation. 

No breathingbreaks - only pure compression and intensity who never smashes or rapes, but cleans, or say: blows thru your body, consciousness, mind, ears and ways of reception with pure clear loudness. For what the german Hendryx only needs 3 anachronistic soundeffects : Volume- and Wah Wah-, and distortion-Pedal. The final picture/curtain: one of the rare all-saying smiles shortly shines on Caspars face as, after a short break and overwhelming silence, the crowd calls out for more: euphorical. Does this boy know about his magical capabilities? Will Brötzmann next be doctorin the house paid by medical ensurance, his Musik in future be recommended and supported by your doctor? Wouldn't it be good?!!!!!!! 

TThomthom Geigenschrey 


Thomthom Geigenschrey reporting from Berlin/Germany's capital out of the: KULTURTÄTER - Büro: Postfach 420405 12064 BERLIN Fon+Fax: 030-7863491 E-Mail: kult_radio@web.de

Contact information

- Gruss TT Geigenschrey aus dem Kulturtäter-Büro für Freelance-Journalism Event&Artist-Booking +Kulturmanagement+Promotion c/o: KULTURTÄTER & GEIGENSCHREY Postfach 420405 12064 BERLIN Fon+Fax: 030-7863491 E-Mail:kult_radio@web.de