Richter Band — Richter Band
(Rachot RT0002-2 311, 1992, CD)
by Rob Walker, Published 1995-03-01Listening to the first track of this Czech ensemble's debut album, I had the feeling that it was leading up to something — a sudden leap in intensity, an eruption into a wild and busy jam section, or some form of energetic musical statement (Gong's "A Sprinkling of Clouds" comes to mind). Well, the second track picks up a little, but throughout the entire 70 minutes of this disc, the music remains subdued and mysterious. That’s not necessarily bad, just a bit surprising. Richter Band is a three-piece, and their instrumentation includes electric and acoustic guitars, bass, and a variety of percussion — no standard drum set. The percussion is especially interesting; aside from some African drums, it consists almost entirely of "homemade" instruments — pots, pans, bowls, and other such items, used to surprisingly good effect. Much of the music on this album is created by the superimposition of several slowly shifting rhythmic patterns and melodic ostinatos. In fact, the rhythmic ideas they use are often quite similar in style to an Indonesian gamelan orchestra, with the pitched percussion parts being played by guitars and bass. An example closer to home might be the minimalist work of composers like Steve Reich, who has been influenced by the strong rhythmic nature of both gamelan and African drumming. Two of the ten tracks are percussion only, and in addition to the mesmerizing sound of all three members weaving a sinuous rhythmic trance, feature interesting, or at least creative, sound effects such as spinning pot-lids on a cement floor, all recorded with a healthy dose of reverb. Another track is created using only guitars, with spacey E-bow drones drifting through various pick and slide effects. Especially for a contemporary progressive ensemble, Richter Band performs an original and creative music. Relaxing, peaceful, and meditative, it may not appeal to listeners who want searing guitar leads and driving drum and bass riffs constantly bombarding their ears. But careful listening will reveal a certain sophistication underlying the deceptive mellowness, and more explorative listeners should find this disc quite enjoyable.
Related artist(s): Richter Band
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more