Kammerflimmer Kollektief - Jinx
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Kammerflimmer Kollektief

Jinx is the sixth full-length album from Kammerflimmer Kollektief now, and the group continues to make very slight metamorphosis' in their sound while still continuing down the same sort of noise-damaged jazz passageway that they've been passing through in their nearly decade of existence. In the beginning (Mäander), the group was largely the work of one man, with more of an emphasis on loops and electronics while other musicians made their instrumental contributions in places. As they've progressed, the group have added and lost members, and this eight song effort finds a wide range of different people passing through the studio to contribute.

One of the things that's always kept me following the group is that they nearly always seem like they're on the verge of creating something seriously groundbreaking. Their past couple albums (Incommunicado and Hysteria) were both remarkably consistent, but neither quite broke into that next level. Despite veering off into some new territory stylistically, Jinx largely falls prey to that same problem, but that doesn't mean that it's not worth your time.

The group has always created cinematic music, but this time out they call on the slightly more experimental work of Morricone in places, with dabblings in damaged psych folk and other sounds trickling through the release. "Palimpsest" opens the release, and might be one of the best songs on the album as sawing strings, world-weary guitars, and percolating synths sweep across dusty plains while a simple beat keeps things moving forward and occasional bursts of noise threaten to take the whole thing down. Album-titled "Jinx" is even more desolate sounding, offsetting a clomp-along beat, hand percussion, and mouth harp with droning harmonium and guitar while Heike Aumuller chants and wails like she's possessed. It's an odd, jangling almost freak-folk number that sounds unlike anything the group has done to date, and it's repeated in a slightly-reworked instrumental version later on in the release.

Jinx certainly doesn't get any more straightforward from there out. The mellow "Live At The Cactus Tree Motel" chills things out with spiraling layers of horn and synths while "Both Eyes Tight Shut" again gets weird with droning guitars, bowed bass and more chanted vocals from Aumuller. The ten-minute closer of "Subnarkotisch" is another head-scratcher, taking way too long to develop into a dissonant cloud of scratchy strings, modulated synths, and other feedback that really doesn't offer up much of anything new. A fair amount different than their past work, but the end result is still another up and down batch of tracks.

rating: 710
Aaron Coleman 2007-07-05 19:15:08