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Weserbergland - 2017 - "Sehr Kosmisch. Ganz Progisch"

(46:22, Apollon Records)


TRACK LIST:                  

1. Tanzen Und Springen 9:46
2. Das Trinklied Vom Jammer Der Erde 15:44
3. Kunst Der Fuge 12:04
4. Tristrant 8:48


Ketil Vestrum Einarsen - vocals, flute, clarinet, piano, keyboards, guitars, programming
Gaute Storsve - bass, guitars
Mattias Olsson - drums, percussion
Jacob Holm-Lupo - bass, guitars
Lars Fredrik Froislie - synth, clavinet
Stephen James Bennet - piano, synth
Tetsuroh Konishi - trumpet
Lars Horntveth - saxophone
Erik Johannessen - trombone
Brynjar Dambo - synth
Roger Langvik - effects
Einar Baldurson - guitar

Prolusion. Norwegian band WESERBERGLAND is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Ketil Vestrum Einarsen, an active musician with a long resume, albeit of the kind often found in liner notes rather than in more prominent, bold letters on an album. With this new venture he steps up as a band leader for the first time, and this debut album was released in the spring if 2017 through Norwegian label Apollon Records.

Analysis. Just about everything about and around this album reference one specific chapter in the annals of music, namely the advent of Krautrock. From band name to album title, song titles and even cover art: All aspects about this album that this will be a Krautrock experience. In my view it isn't quite inside that universe, even if does contain many nods in that directions and ultimately I rather suspect it will be best enjoyed by those who have a preference for that kind of music. One of the important details that transports this album away rather than towards Krautrock for me is the most excellent drumming of Mattias Olsen. His quirky, sophisticated and energetic delivery is of a kind that lacks the more monotone or rough drum patterns I tend to associate with Krautrock. This is more Neil Peart than an lesser known German drummer in style - to put it that way. The hard booming bass that is an oft featured detail throughout is another aspect, one that for me reference some of the great names in progressive rock rather than the German kraut scene. The keyboards and effects brings this production closer to Berlin though, so to speak, with multiple references to the likes of Tangerine Dream finding their way into these instrumental creations. Not wholeheartedly however, as there are sections here that have more of a symphonic progressive touch to them, and also some that arguably have more of an ambient intent. Furthermore I also noted some keyboard details here and there that brought Gary Numan to mind, some bass-lines that gave me associations towards Depeche Mode, some sections that for me had perhaps a touch or two of new wave to them as well. Which, I guess, may indicate just how influential the original krautrock scene was for music also outside of a progressive rock context. While one's associations may well be vastly different, what is certain is that this is a production well inside them progressive rock spectrum, and it is Ganz Progisch indeed. And more often than not Sehr Kosmisch too I might add. And, at least in my view, those truly fond of classic Krautrock should have a field day with concluding cut Tristrant. On this compositions the odd rhythms, sounds and landscapes of good, old krautrock as I seem to remember them all surface, complete with some expressive saxophone details and a certain chaotic monotone, non-repetitive style that for me defines a lot of the kind of music I associate with the more expressive parts of the krautrock scene.

Conclusion. While I do not find this CD to be a krautrock production in a purebred manner, I do suspect that the main audience for this album will be found in that crowd somewhere. Most likely those among this audience that enjoys an artist with a modern take on old traditions and the inclusion of elements also outside of this specific field. Otherwise many people with an affection for instrumental progressive rock in general should find this album to be a rewarding one I suspect.

Progmessor: September 27th, 2017
The Rating Room

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