CD Review: Swiss trio Kaos Protokoll play chaotic jazz? No…a fun but serious band to listen!

Kaos PrtokollArtist: Kaos Protokoll
Title: Questclamationmarks
Label: Prolong Rec
Genre: nu jazz

CD Review by Dawoud Kringle

Kaos Protokoll is a Switzerland based electronica Jazz ensemble whose work has raised a few eyebrows in the past. Comprised of Benedikt Wieland (e-bass, effects), Flo Reichle (drums/electronics), Marc Stucki (saxophone, melodica, and effects) Kaos Protokoll’s new CD, Questclamationmarks is a departure from their first release Quick & Dirty. Whereas Quick & Dirty was straight forward in its punk ethic, Questclamationmarks takes the listener into their more refined and multifaceted potential.

As their story goes, the music on this CD “was written from experiences and recollections accrued during touring and proactive traveling, which took the band all over Europe and Russia, and even as far as the outbacks of Siberia.” They were all living in different parts of the world while writing this, although the tracks were recorded in Lubrza, Poland. The music presented here is evident of the result of hard experience. They’d also enlisted the services of composer / pianist Django Bates to produce the CD.

“Levitate” opens the CD with a bass chord figure around which cinematic drums and gritty, processed saxophone swirl in chaotic unpredictability before assembling into a groove. Eventually, the groove dominates and Stucki’s saxophone wails and shouts in anger.

The music takes a more happy turn with “Good Morning Krasnoyarsk!” Krasnoyarsk (the third largest city in Siberia after Novosibirsk and Omsk, Russia) must hold some happy memories for them. The song has an unbridled joy, occasionally spiced with a grittiness and surrealist sense of inner contrast.

Wieland’s bass dives deep in flanger land on Wrong Band. Stucki’s saxophone parts are weirdly harmonized and thrust themselves through the rhythmic wall created by Wieland and Reichle.

Mr. Kobayashi takes the listener into a more somber mood. Whoever, Mr. Kobayashi is, his influence was evidently quite sobering on these wild experimentalists.

The remainder of the CD shows the trio rearranging their individual and collective elements into diverse and unpredictable patterns, styles, and iterations. There’s never a dull moment, and as soon as you think you know where they’re going, they go somewhere else, and skillfully take you through a wild ride. The production is excellent, and presents the music in a way fitting to its essence.