Boomkat Product Review:
Zeitkratzer do jazz their way alongside dextrous Swedish vocalist Mariam Wallentin (Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Fire! Orchestra), tackling the likes of ‘Cry Me A River’ and ‘Strange Fruit’ in faithful and adventurous form.
Recorded live at Festival Sacrum Profanum, Krakow, Poland in 2018, the supergroup draw on their considerable, independent backgrounds in jazz to pay tribute to great jazz musicians from Sweet Emma Barrett to Muhal Richard Abrams following the Berlin-based new music ensemble’s various takes on music from Merzbow to Terre Thaemlitz and, Lou Reed and Stockhausen in recent years. Ever up for a challenge, they now turn their attention to jazz with the same fervour they apply to everything else, with the addition of Mariam Wallentin really leading and sparking off the whole thing.
Capable of frightening range of vocals, from smoky jazz soul to shrieking avant-grade mania, Wallentin’s vocals are a big attraction if you like those sorta things, providing ideal foil to their expansive take on Muhal Richard Abrams’ ‘Bird Song’ - a rare example both of electronics written for free jazz, and the kind of gear to be found on an upcoming Karlrecords comp - and really letting loose on their slippery cover of ‘Cry Me A River’. The choice of ‘Strange Fruit’ is perhaps perennial, topical and handled with brooding sensitivity, and the stiff but splayed roil of ‘Drummer Song’ takes the latinate original into a spiralling sort of Berlin cabaret cacophony.