B3Mists Of Krakatoa
Manufactured By – Pirates Press
Pressed By – GZ Media – 216415E
Artwork By – Luke Berliner
Beats – Gideon Kiers
Cello – Nina Hitz
Composed By, Written-By – Charlotte Cegarra (tracks: D1), Gideon Kiers, Jason Kohnen
Double Bass, Fretless Bass, Piano – Jason Kohnen
Guitar – Eelco Bosman
Mastered By – Patrick Pulsinger
Music By – The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz EnsembleTrombone – Hilary JefferyViolin – Sarah AndersonVocals, Piano, Xylophone – Charlotte CegarraNotesRegular edition on black 180 g vinyl. Comes in a thick, matte gatefold cover and black polylined inner sleeves. A download code is included.
Barcode and Other IdentifiersBarcode: 4024572965167Matrix / Runout (Side A stamped): PIRATES PRESS – DEN260 A 216415E1/AMatrix / Runout (Side B stamped): PIRATES PRESS – DEN260 B 216415E2/AMatrix / Runout (Side C stamped): PIRATES PRESS – DEN260 C 216415E3/AMatrix / Runout (Side D stamped): PIRATES PRESS – DEN260 D 216415E4/A
This is the Black Vinyl Edition.
The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble - Here Be Dragons 2xLP Black
Review written by DJ Deep Field
Its early October 2010, a starry-eyed young man is perusing the Ad Noiseum merch table at Machinenfest (Europe’s largest industrial noise festival) in the small town of Oberhausen Germany. Label head Nicolas Chevreux is re-arranging the Igorrr and End.User Lps so the brutality of their covers complement each other.
“I'm traveling through Eastern Europe for a few weeks can you recommend me a soundtrack for this trip” the young man asks. Nicolas reaches over and hands the man “Here be Dragons” by The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble. “This is what you want” he confidently states. That was the day my love affair with TKDE started it has been possibly the most rewarding love affair I have ever undertaken. Here be Dragons is the second LP by the seven-piece Europe based Darkjazz Pioneers, following on from their self-titled LP and the Mutations EP, it is a haunting work of pure genius.
TKDE’s music is written almost entirely by Jason Kohnen (double bass, fretless guitar, piano) and Gideon Kiers (electronic effects). They began creating music under the TKDE moniker in 2000 with the intent of composing new music for silent movies. Both graduates of the Utrecht School of Arts, they combined their audio skills to reinterpret classic movies by F.W Murnau (Nosferatu) and F. Lang (Metropolis). It wasn't until 2006 that UK-based record label Planet Mu picked up and released their debut self-titled LP (later re-released on vinyl by Denovali in 2010). After this in 2009 came Mutations (a pre-cursor to the LP in question). Here be Dragons was released by Berlin-based label Ad Noiseum later that year.
Starting out with the nine-minute epic Lead Squid we are trapped from start to finish in an immensely complex and beautiful tapestry of sound. The journey you are shanghaied upon when listening to this masterpiece is nightmarish and eerie, the listener is transported to a world of apparitions and shadows in fog-shrouded soundscapes. Lead squid succeeds in treating the listener to almost every sonic landscape that is at the disposal of Gideon and Jason and they use every element perfectly. It starts imperceptibly quiet before traveling through splashes of lush vocal textures and ending in a cacophony of electronic and natural noise, this piece alone is a perfect introduction to the intelligence of this ensembles sound and an amazing first port of call on the adventure that is “Here be Dragons”
Caravan picks up the mantle and transports the listener across sand-ridden landscapes to a dried-up desert oasis (a sitar I feel would not feel out of place at the starting of this track its absence shows the true quality of this band in their avoidance of the musical cliché). One minute in we are picked out of the soft ambiance that kept us warm and hurled into a world of tense drums and even tenser classical era violin washes. It is as if the caravan upon which we ride has been hijacked and we ride with no clear direction toward chaos. It is a beautifully ordered chaos though and we are treated to some of the finest violin and cello that this album has to offer. The build-up and resolution of tension in this piece is breathtaking and the way it is held together is a wonder to behold. The final three minutes take us back to the softness with which we began, there is however a mysterious and slightly curious element to this ambiance. The mournful strings bring water to my eyes and I recall moments of regret and loss. The drumming, driving us ever forward is evocative of the thought that life will go on regardless of what is gained or lost. Finishing this piece off with subtlety allows the listener to take stock of the mental journey they have been taken on and prepare for what is to come.
In 2005 Planet Mu released Canada-based artist Venetian Snares sixteenth album “Rossz Csillag Alatt Szuletett” which is Hungarian for “cursed from birth”. The LP was written as a reflection of the artist's time in Hungary and was released in 2005. In 2006 the same label released a 12” with four re-interpretations of pieces from the LP these adaptions were perpetrated by a breakcore artist by the name of Bong Ra or as we are more familiar with a one Mr. Gideon Kiers. Gideon took the Classical sounding original breakcore tune and turned it into what could only be described as a pre-drumstep translation of the original (changing its ferocious 7/8 tempo to a more sedate 4/4). It wasn’t until 2009 that this piece got a further reworking by Gideon, this time pushing it through the hands of TKDE. The result was Embers, one of the most sublime of all the tracks on Here be Dragons. Embers, Senaca & The Mists of Krakatoa all have the distinguishing elements of Parisian Charlotte Cegarra’s haunting vocals, it is this attribute that makes them the beautiful middle ground of this LP.
The lyrics in Mists of Krakatoa “I fell in love with a shadow” are the perfect summation of my thoughts on this album. The dark ephemeral nature of this record seems to have more in common with the unknown or un-perceptible than any other record in my collection.
The final leg of this journey is entitled the Macguffin. If a ven diagram were to be drawn of TKDE’s sound it would have three circles entitled Darkjazz, Neo-Classical, and Post Rock. It is The Macguffin that shows their talent in the world of Post Rock. Starting inauspiciously with warm guitar distortion and layered synth textures it builds and builds and builds to a triumphant thunderous crescendo making it the perfect conclusion to a journey that will forever be etched in the psyche of the listener. Its grandeur puts the LP as a whole into perspective and one realizes that the entire piece was a journey to a monumental realization.
Here be dragons is a perfect LP, it manages to take the listener to a different world with each composition without each piece being too dissonant from each other.
The wisdom of Nicolas Chevreux in not only releasing this masterpiece but also knowing that it would be the perfect soundtrack for me as I traveled through eastern Europe cemented in my mind his importance in my (and I am certain many others) musical journey.