After Egypt and Cuba, Koch-Schütz-Studer have landed on a new beach, where the sound alchemists are at home and hold the earth in vibrations with their elixirs. Geographicall, they have docked in New York City, at the sound labs of the illbient artists, who brew their sound and rhythmic essences from loops of HipHop and Ragga, Break-beats and Soundtracks. Koch-Schütz-Studer bring in their roots of Jazz, Rock and Free Improvisation. Together with DJs M. Singe und I-Sound they create a mixture made of sensitive jazz-tinkering, ambient, hardcore and electronics. «Roots and Wires» has become Koch-Schütz-Studer's unerring and wayward contribution to the aesthetic of contemporary electronic underground culture.
"Hans Koch is not the first of the avant-garde jazz musicians to add turntables to the mix, but he certainly is one of the best to do so. For this intriguing set, he brings two - DJ M. Singe and DJ I. Sound - plus percussionist Fredy Studer and electric cellist Martin Schütz. The results astound, with each of the eight pieces displaying different aspects of the group's sound. Ranging from minimalist fare to wild, ferocious crashing cacophony, the quintet blasts forth noise and crazed sounds that should not have any trouble making it to the floors of the disco. Koch is stupendous, whether on his usual bass clarinet or on soprano and tenor saxophones and electronics. But, it is the DJs who stamp their names on this one, with wild, twisted distorted bubblegum notes that pull and punch with abandon. It is all fun, and most importantly, it somehow works, avoiding the snares of pastiche, and instead producing an invigorating, innovative series of pieces that should satisfy the most demanding of tastes." (4 stars)
Steven Loewy, All-Music Guide to Jazz, U.S.A., August 2000
"This album's been in my life for some time now, I've repeatedly returned to it, and despite the immediate impression it makes, it's only over the course of a few months that I've come to realise it's one of the best records of the year. This probably reflects more on me than the music(!), but none-the-less, what a release. The trio of Hans Koch (bass clarinet, soprano and tenor saxophones, electronics, sequencer), Martin Schütz (electric 5string cello, acoustic cello, more electronics sequencer), and Fredy Studer (drums, percussion), are joined by two turntablists, DJ M Singe and DJ I-Sound, to generate another edition of "hardcore chambermusic". The first piece, "The background is the foreground then delirium", is a phenomenal 10-minute introduction. An insistent groove is slowly augmented by the other players, following the relentless gritty patterns, until it finally collapses, twitching, in a glorious barrage of free noise. It's both complex and funky, dealing in harsh abstraction and improv as well as generating rhythmic hooks and warm acoustic textures, and in this sense it's akin to Radian's supreme "TG-11", Pluramon, or Orchester 33/3. With Bernd Friedmann now working with Jaki Leibezeit too, it's clear that the integration of electronics, turntables, and improvised live-playing have found their finest exponents in German speaking countries. And I guess Can inevitably spring to mind as a possible precursor. But, where previous outings by Koch-Schutz-Studer have engaged with music from Egypt and Cuba, here it seems they've musically washed up on Manhattan's shoreline, working with two "illbient" musicians whose turntables complement their sound perfectly. There are very few turntablists who have really engaged with the idea of being an "equal musician" in such a context, and even fewer who were able to. But M. Singe and I-Sound really do succeed here, with a sense of constucting the music's architecture over time and inter-reacting with the other musicians, working with abstraction as much as discernible "samples". It's often difficult to pick apart the scratching from the saxophones, and indeed, why should you? Just enjoy the furious collages generated on tracks like "Thai Speed Parade" and "Loop Eleven". On this track, Koch plays with Zorn-like intensity, before a post-rock-like bass line and drum pattern drop, skittering saxophone interwoven with scratching hot on their heels. Throughout the whole album, it's an utterly seductive mix of sparse, spacy jams and deep, demanding, abstraction. But, as it says in the smart sleeve notes, "these are only words, they do not sound". You need to hear this record to judge for yourself. And give it time. "
MOTION, GB, 2000
released January 1, 2000
Hans Koch: bass clarinet, soprano and tenor saxophone, electronics, sequencer
Martin Schütz: electric 5string cello, acoustic cello, electronics, sequencer
Fredy Studer: drums, percussion
DJ M. Singe: turntables
DJ I-Sound: turntables
Recorded by Jean-Claude Pache at Watermill Studio, Brübach/Henau, Switerland, August 25-27, 1998. Mixed by Jean-Claude Pache at Soundville Recording Studios, Lucerne, Switerland, September 4,5,6,7, 1999. Edited by Koch-Schütz-Studer, September 20-22, 1999.
Graphic design: Vevet Creative Office, Lucerne, Liner notes: Pirmin Bossart. Produced by Koch-Schütz-Studer and Intakt Records. Publshed by Intakt Records, Patrik Landolt.
supported by 7 fans who also own “Roots and Wires”
So,so pleased and gratified to see Henry's Pi Recordings on BC!
He is, without exception, one of the most visionary and extraordinary composers of the 20th/21st Century, in my humble view...I have listened to him for decades (the Mosaic Box Set is an essential experience) and his current band, Zooid is very important, I think (but then, he doesn't need my approbation; I listen with old ears)...if you don't know his work then listen to anything/everything you can get your hands on...
His musical acumen astounds me...this new album is no exception...recommended; body and soul... John Cratchley
supported by 7 fans who also own “Roots and Wires”
Nobody, giant or otherwise could sleep through that opening section!...I liken it to the struggle for life...working/striving for balance in a musical/ecological domain... (what?) oh, its groovy too! Bob Ross