The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble – From The Stairwell – Digi CD
The highly praised third album “From The Stairwell” of the Dutch cult ensemble from 2011 finally available again on cd & vinyl.
The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble are a project which has always been tied to films. Films are luxurious because they dispose of all these boring, unimportant, and trivial parts of our lives. This allows them to fully control our sensations, to put us in a very specific mood. Joy and sadness are occasionally OK, endless joy or endless sadness are clinical. But there is one sensation which can be persistent and unconditionally bearable at the same time. In the absence of a better alternative, let’s call it “the mood”. The mood is what TKDE are aiming at. The mood.
The mood is infinite and illimitable, but not uniform and unique. On “From The Stairwell”, TKDE deliver eight new incarnations of the mood. Stairwells have always been intriguing. They appear to unavoidably lead you to your destination, but they only disclose the path bit by bit. What lies far ahead of you and far beyond you is hidden in the shadows. The stairwell could just as well be infinite. You climb up this murky stairwell, passing by many doors. Every door contains a variation of the mood, a short film, a song. You open the first one, “All Is One”. The evaporating mist discloses a large and empty room with a barstool in the middle. On the barstool, a chanteuse from the roaring twenties. Her voice starts to trigger vibrations of the ground, the walls start spiralling around her, but she remains untouched in the eye of the storm. Second room, “Giallo”. Sly guy, telling smile, nice suit. Walking down the streets in the dusk. The ambience starts to get out of phase, the guy stumbles in horror while blending with the surrounding to a brown soup. Fourth room. “Cocaine”. Naked people with pig heads crawl on the floor, on the walls, on the ceiling. They try to hopelessly suck up the white dust which covers every single piece of this room and is constantly spit out by tubes coming out of the walls. Dissonant sounds accompany the work of this desperate hive. As the people manage to counteract the tubes, fragile melodies start to overpower the dissonances. Sixth room, “Cotard Delusion”. Baby morphing into a black fluid morphing into an old man which turns his eyes inwards and finds his inside to be completely empty. The journey up the stairwell, down the stairwell, continues. The pictures fill your head and make you forget where you wanted to go in the first place.
“From The Stairwell” is a surprise and a logical step at the same time. It is a surprise because the songs are far less beat-driven in comparison to TKDE’s earlier works, and even contain a few hopeful tints here and there. It is a logical step because in the end each song turns to have a very diverse dramaturgic flow. This could raise the conjecture that TKDE, initially started out to make music for existing and non-existing films, wanted to incorporate the audiovisual impression completely into songs, making the films superfluous. At times, “From The Stairwell” makes you think of 60’s soundtracks, but the organic feeling of those is always interwoven with mechanical elements. Altogether, every single of the numerous details present in TKDE’s new songs feels to be at the right place and you can either just dive into the mood or pick one of the many aspects and enjoy it on its own – be it Gideon Kiers’ beats & fx, Jason Köhnen’s bass & piano, Hilary Jeffery’s trombone, Charlotte Cegarra’s voice & piano, Eelco Bosman’s guitar, Nina Hitz’ cello, Sarah Anderson’s violin, or – appearing as guest musicians – Eiríkur Óli Ólafsson’s trumpet and Coen Kaldeway’s saxophone & bass clarinet.
Together with “Bohren und der Club of Gore” and “The Dale Cooper Quartet”, The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble and The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation through the years have succeeded in creating a brand new genre of music. Time to get absorbed again by this unique and fresh sound.