Boomkat Product Review:
Studio Pankow is the collaborative venture of three musicians, two of which have been pivotal to the development of electronic music : David Moufang (Move D), Jamie Hodge (Born Under a Rhyming Planet) and Kai Kroker (Rawell). Between them the three have had releases on labels as influential and diverse as Warp, Ninja Tune, Plus 8, Rising High, Plug Research, Wmf, Fax, Reflective and, most importantly, David Moufag's seminal Source Records. Between moufang's deeply emotive emissions as Move D and Hodge's organic techno for Richie Hawtin's Plus 8 imprint, both artists created a new electronic variant that acted as a missing link between the groundbreaking constructions that typified Detroit techno and the indebted artificial intelligence movement pioneered by the Warp label here in the uk. Later on Hodge and Moufang started broadening the scope of their work to take in elements of jazz and improvisation - culminating in the formation of a new band that would feature legendary vibraphonist Karl Berger - a player who spent most of the sixties working with Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman and Lee Konitz. This new project was called 'Conjoint' and spawned two massively important albums, at one point compared to Miles Davis' "In a silent way" by The Wire magazine's Rob Young. "Studio Pankow" finds Hodge and Moufang back in the studio, partnered by berlin's Kai Kroker whose studio provides the setting and the name for this inspired new work. The eleven tracks that feature on this album were recorded in 3 sessions over a time period of more than 4 years. The three artists, each residing at a different location, would converge at kai's studio pankow and start improvising. 'Linienbusse', at times nods towards their familiar fascination with beats and hazy strings, at others developing the session into an effervescent glow of minimalism and velvet ambience that transforms conjoint's hazy jazz fascination into something much more unconscious. On the incredible title track, for instance, this sumptuous reduction takes in a solitary piano that acts as a sparkling, reflective counterweight to the celluloid ambience and fuzzy transmissions that lie beneath. With a title that roughly translates as "regular busses", you get the feeling that somewhere outside this space life carried on at regular pace, but for the duration of these amazing pieces everything very gently slowed down until each single detail and intonation of life became perfectly clear, captured here for posterity. One of the most important releases for us at CCO and a breathtaking document of a collaboration that goes right back to the heart of pioneering electronic music. A huge recommendation.