Live à Venise
FRANCE STUDIOLABUT 003 C.D. (2022)
Here then is the story of how KL4NG came 2B. I’m presuming that the ‘4’ sitting in the middle of their name would really like to be an ‘A’ when it grows up (?). So, for ease of typistry, I’ll dub them “Klang” and hope that Kraftwerk’s Ralf Hutter doesn’t have his nose put out of joint too drastically. Klang came together in 2015, when Strasbourgians François Kubler and Armand Angster a.k.a. the Accroche Note Ensemble combined their expertise in avant-chamberist pursuits with the outsider input of D.J.s Yérri-Gaspar Hummell and Pablo Valentino. The quartet’s grand plan being that the latter twosome should tweak/bend out of shape certain Accroche discs, while François and Armand would then react to these live treatments by way of clarinet, sax, vocals and drum. In other words, a “rob Peter, pay Paul (with dividends)” kinda scenario.
Live à Venise finds our plucky unit’s deployment of electro/acoustic textures, rhythmic churn and occasional free jazz splutter possessing a unity of thought and spirit that seems sadly lacking in others of a genre cross-hatching persuasion.
Sandwiched between the tantalisingly brief intros/outros, are eleven pieces cut from a mucho bizarro cloth, that can’t fail to bring the listener up with a pleasurable jolt or three. “Capricorne” and “Lesspool” bleep and squeedle in fine sixties, lab-coated fashion with coded vocalese surely phoned in by saucerians from planet X. Some other interesting conversations arise from out of the latter cut, one between the fretful blather of bass clarinet and a hyperactive mouth-organ being a particular stand out. “Le Fou Saxophonisant” scissors its way through a clearly defined set of mood. restlessness, Confusion and a good dose of the hysterics almost fall over themselves, so anxious to make their presence felt before the allotted time of seven minutes, thirty-two expires. That’s only three tracks logged of course, but don’t fret. It’s all consistently out there and never once does it come down to land. I’m not keen in singling one member out of the four for extra praise, but… jeez… François’ vocal range is something else entirely. Think early Annette Peacock (Paul Bley duo era), with a dash of say, Norma Winston or even maverick sound poet Lily Greenham. C’est magnifique!
Still striving for that extra yard in experimentation, Klang has since moved on to far larger ventures with “reMIX”, in which their remixing/mixing m.o. is applied to a full-blown orchestra, where two simultaneous concerts take place on two separate stages. Jack and Josephine Public (on entry level sensory overload), can then wander from one to another to their heart’s content.