having said farewell to the skribble-pott family at the 55mm2 festival, dyxz and i drove south down the open autobahn for a little more than two hundred kilometers listening to opium lord and 'dopethrone' in its entirety at full volume with the hi-end turned way down until we reached the rhein-main decorative stamp compound a couple of hours before sundown. we had a day and a half to relax, including a pizza and donut party at the knertz compound with the legendary oskar ohlson and winterismyname, and not least of all linking up with out third man for the rest of the tour, the staggeringly-powerful martin born, our free-jazz legend, wheel-man and all-round unbelievably amazing soul. with our sights set firmly on the road ahead we gathered together and headed south out of mainz towards our first show as a trio with the always wonderful k-gruppe family in karlsruhe.
the weather was a lot better than the traffic as we rode the autobahn south to karlsruhe, but how slowly building storm-clouds and the dry heat could only spell inclemency for later on in the evening, but how it held out long enough for the utterly astonishing vegan barbecue that tomi and the k-gruppe family had laid on for us. quite impossible to put into words and how it quickly had to become the focus of the pre-show activities once the warm hugs and greetings and show technicalities had been taken care of. how much of a delight it was to also get to once again cross paths with bold captain astronautalis, the ever-mighty brock and to become gladly acquainted with oscar and mo, on guitar and drums respectively. how it was also a delight to get to talk with the parenthetical girls over the fantastic aformentioned barbecue.
still, one had to remain somewhat keenly aware that our presence on the line-up for the evening did seem ever-so-slightly at odds with the rest of the program, but how we could only ever treat that as an amusement and a delight indeed. naturally the evenings music began with our dyxz.born.rndr set and, although we had previously planned to keep it a little more on the dark-jazz that blackened-noise side of the coin, i seem to recall it actually being a rather sinister twenty-five minutes or so indeed. but the sound was crystal clear for our part and how the performance was a greatly enjoyable one indeed, although it might be perhaps argued that only a smaller percentage of the audience were ready to bathe in quite such blackened shrouds before the onset of really rather more uptempo tones. but how it was a privilege to grace the stage in every way and yet more so to take in the rest of the evenings' music.
having heard many enthusiastic reports on the parenthetical girls from a number of trusted sources in the lead up to the show, we were all most keen to witness their performance and how they indeed took to the stage with gusto and set about a super-energetic set of songs which had me think of a great number of different influences, but none so concrete that i would dare to hint at in these lines. how it did very much gladden and tickle me that zac, their vocalist very much had an 'ancient mith' way about him and did indeed attempt and successfully scale most parts of the location including a protracted path across the bar, and of course never once missing his queue or breaking his neck. it was definitely a sight to behold and a suitable effective segue from our blackened-shroud jazz-murmurings into astronautalis' full-blown live-rap extravaganza.
as many times as i have had the fortune of performing alongside astronautalis, i can quite honestly state that his performance alongside oscar and mo at the halle14 this night will easily remain one of the most memorable thusfar, not simply as we had the delight of witnessing him with his bandmates for the first time, but also of what became the intimacy of the show due to something slightly more than mere technical difficulties with the sound during the performance. the details need not be discussed, but the upshot of the situation being that the band performed without the aid of the sound system in the location; mo played his drums as they stood, oscar his guitar just running through his amp and andy perfoming his vocals without amplification. i guess this desperate action needed to be taken a mere four or five songs into the set, but how the rest of the performance continued and ended thus and how it really did prove to be a most admirable accomplishment by the good gentlemen onstage, but also a tremendous treat for those in attendance.
still, with the live music concluded in fine style, the rain-storm having rolled in and the mid-week evening wearing on fast there was just enough time to recline a little while in the most-comfortable back-stage area at the halle14 with the ever-splendid young robin, a dog with whom it seems most every passing musician falls in love with, the remains of the staggering barbecue and some rather amusing conversation with the astronautalis troops about something along the lines of a thread involving carmen miranda. but how the time was marching on fast and how we all had different cities to be in tomorrow. we bid the troops fond farewells til next time and started to think about final teas before taking ourselves into the sleeping with keen anticipation of a splendid breakfast with the k-gruppe family in the morning and then the drive further south and over the border into the ever-stunning switzerland.
after a most-comfortable nights' sleep we all awoke slightly blurry-eyed from the late night and early start but we quickly bolstered with tea and sunlight and the brief drive from the location to the k-gruppe family compound. the ever-wonderful tomi greeted us at the door and how we all slowly began to gather around the kitchen table, taking our fill of the amazing breakfast selection and generally relaxing our way into the mid-morning before we would have to think about taking to the road once more, a fine finish to another wonderful karlsruhe episode indeed. with a hearty round of farewells we made our way back down onto the street as the first light rain of the day began to fall and started to think about the journey by the schwarzwald and over the border into the majestic swiss lands.
next field report - low dronings from below the
abandoned freight-cars drowning in the heavy rain
abandoned freight-cars drowning in the heavy rain
mülheim an der ruhr, deutschland
16th june 2013