RR: Everyone Nowhere, the title of the latest full-length instalment from Swiss Post Jazz outfit Kaos Protokoll, is a scathing assessment of where we ended up, not only as a culture, but also as a species. However, instead of delivering an equally bleak or, at the least, a heavily sardonic soundtrack to boot, what we get is a deeply moving, mindful and extremely introspective work of aural psychogeography. Everyone Nowhere is an electronically-inflected, Post Future Beats, modern Spiritual Jazz record. It’s also a very personal work, one that ruminates over ideas such as presence, psychoemotional connection to physical spaces, and the artist’s perpetual engagement with flux.
A major difference in the creative process from the previous album was, of course, being able to write for other instruments (bass clarinet and keys). This changed the range of possibilities fundamentally, and opened up a totally new sound spectrum. And almost every idea started at the piano, this time, and not the bass. – Benedikt Wieland
It’s safe to say that almost everything about this project changed since the release of their sophomore LP entitled Questclamationmarks. First of all, the band upgraded from a trio format to a quartet, with Luzius Schuler joining in on keys – which expanded the band’s sonic palette and added even more textural, harmonic possibilities. Mark Stucki – the man responsible for that trademark, feverish saxophone vernacular – left, and was replaced by Simon Spiess, who brought along with him a much more reflective and economic style of playing. And, finally, band leader and key songwriter, Benedikt Wieland, relocated to Berlin, thus making this eccentric city, which is still, arguably, one of the hotspots for anything Electronica, one of the band’s main operational hubs. So, if Everyone Nowhere feels like a complete sonic reinvention which, of course, it is, it should also be apparent that, as disruptive as this new musical permutation appears to be, it’s also the outcome of an organic process.
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Something that I always carried with me through life, were these dreamy, poetic, sad and deeply emotional melodies. I think this might come from my training as a violinist and, of course, also from the music that I grew up with. Coltrane, Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane, when you listen to their records, it’s all about deep harmonies. On some of their compositions from the 60s there aren’t that many changes in their arrangements, and they often stay with one chord for a while. This was a big influence on me, as well as records from composers such as Mussorgsky, Chopin, Debussy and Smetana. – Benedikt Wieland
The music on this release is much cooler (in temperature) than anything that the band had released previously. It’s pensive and blue – with a dynamically shifting and continually re-configurating balance between hope and melancholy. Structurally, the compositions have a meandering quality about them; constantly reaching for something that appears to always be just off-frame. And, in contrast to the project’s previous releases, the instrumentalists in this formation don’t play to highlight their individual styles, but rather allow their playing to bleed into an elaborate, layered tapestry of sound, one rooted in and, completely subservient to, the expressed range of emotion. Although, this material was penned in its entirety by Benedikt Wieland – with the bulk of writing taking place on trains, planes and occasionally, on his terrace in Neukölln, Berlin – a license was given to all players to freely interpret their parts to their own liking and strengths. This explains why everyone on board sounds so emotionally invested.
To keep the sound visceral and live throughout, the electronics also had to be played live. So, there are a lot of effects and synth parts on this record. A perfect example of this is the middle part of Flash Frame. It’s all live. Without these electronic elements this part wouldn’t have the depth, nor this mystical mood. – Benedikt Wieland
The entire material was recorded in just two sessions at the RecPublica Studios in Lubrza, Poland. It was produced by Alexandre J. Maurer, who helped the group pinpoint and refine a distinct blend of acoustic and synthesised sound, and aligned it with the future-retro aesthetics championed by contemporary Electronica and Jazz. Everyone Nowhere, said for one song (SunRaColtrane), which features spoken word artist Mr.AreDot, is an instrumental record, and very much one with a soundtrack quality. In fact, the whole effort kicks off with a song aptly titled Flash Frame which, at its most extreme, diffuses into an impressionistic, painting-like, ambient atmosphere. Once, the tone is set, rest assured, that you will be taken on a very intimate, non-linear journey through very real spaces and places, scrupulously correlated with the personal experiences which they embody. Everyone Nowhere is a very subjective map of a real fragment of space-time, as expressed by music that was born from the experience of really being there!