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(FMP CD 49)
This Orchestra blends traditional jazz instruments with electronics to create new sonic textures. With their sensitive interplay, these improvisations weave a rich tapestry of shifting sounds. Challenging work that repays close concentration.
"While Globe Unity Orchestra and the London Jazz Composer’s Orchestra have gone through periods of exploring totally improvised terrain, it would appear that this approach is Übü’s raison d’etre, and marvelously, wonderfully so. Shattering expectations of solo showcases and common kaput-play contours, Übü provides a shifting, organic flux of textures, emanating equally from the domains of the cerebral and the visceral, with neither undermining the other. Rich in contrapuntal action and detail, the music swerves authoritatively from only occasionally over-telegraphed howling climaxes, to sublime silences. With the finely-honed abilities of the individual players and their profound affinity as an ensemble, Übü is meaningfully extending the possibilities inherent in improvised music." - Milo Fine, The Improvisor
"While this disc is inarguably not for everyone, it is nonetheless a fascinating, restrained study on a large scale on what happens when sound is made to disappear and come back as a reflection of itself in the same instant. Wonderful."
- All Music Guide
"The King Übü Örchestrü plays music stripped of rhetoric. It avoids falsifying emphasis and the cheap grab of recognition. But what does it sound like? It is a music that, because it exists so completely within itself, defeats all attempts at metaphor. All references to the sounds of plumbing, breaking glass and the voices of birds and other celestial creatures, not to mention other musics past, present, or future, all such references, no matter how seemingly well-grounded in the aural evidence, are just so much chatter over the music. Suffice to say that here the musicians erase all distinctions between the sound of electronics and acoustic instruments, and that often individual silences resonate as surely as a contrabass clarinet subtone, and, if you listen intently enough, you will become part of the resonance. That is the demand, the promise, and the reward of this music. Recommended."
"The ten piece Übü under the direction of Wolfgang Fuchs blends three strong reeds with a solid brass section. The sonic effect of electronics/computer synthesist Georg Katzer, with additional electronics from violinist Phil Wachsmann and drummer Paul Lytton, is a significant element in the music. This combination of reeds and brass is a winning one, though the CD requires a close listen to appreciate what is happening. Two concepts are at work simultaneously: the first a free improvising orchestra formed along traditional section lines, the second, a mutable ensemble whose roles of support and vertical harmony are dismissed. Fuchs has chosen players whose concept clearly matches his own so much so that he is able to direct the flow of improvising as deftly as any conductor. What we have here is an ensemble of unique players reacting to each other “in the moment”. Binaurality reveals over time a collective structural understanding that is highly refined."
- Coda Magazine
King Übü Örchestrü
Wolfgang Fuchs: sopranino saxophone, bass clarinet, contra-bass clarinet
Peter van Bergen: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, contra-bass clarinet
Luc Houtkamp: clarinet, alto & tenor saxophone
Günter Christmann: trombone
Radu Malfatti: trombone
Melvyn Poore: tuba
Phil Wachsmann: violin, electronics
Torsten Müller: double bass
Paul Lytton: drums, electronics
Georg Katzer: computer, electronics
Recorded by Jost Gebers on June 22nd to 24th, 1992, at the Akademie der Künste/Ost in Berlin.
Mixed by Jost Gebers.
Mastered by Jonas Bergler.
Produced by Jost Gebers.
Booklet front artwork: Max Neumann.
Layout: Jost Gebers.
Photos: Marian Stefanowski.