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BECKER / STEGMAN / ZEUMER

Becker / Stegman / Zeumer

Ich Traume So Leise Von Dir

    Music From Memory cap off a pretty neat 2016 with a reissue of something unique, unusual and largely unheard outside of elite digging circles and the Wuppertal town hall. As key figures of the Wuppertal jazz scene, trumpetist Heinz Becker and painist Karl-Heinz Stegmann were well acquainted by 1987 when they met the actress Isabel Zeumer at an exhibition opening. Soon after this chance meeting, the trio were asked put together a programme on Else Lasker-Schüler. A unique figure in her time Jewish poet Lasker-Schüler embraced a bohemian lifestyle and became a leading exponent of Germany’s expressionism and avant-garde poetry movement before fleeing the country in 1937. Becker, Stegmann and Zeumer’s programme would combine readings of Lasker-Schüler’s works with experimental music and imagery. These performances were met with great enthusiasm at the time in Wuppertal and were even televised. Following on from the strong response to the music and performances, the trio were invited to release the material on local label ITM Records. Embracing Lasker’s avant-garde sentiments within their own musical compositions, Becker, Zeumer and Stegmann’s album "Ich Träume So Leise Von Dir" LP blends jazz and electronics to create a wholly unique sound. "Mein Tanzlied" opens this reissue with precision drum programming, thrusting sequences and fat fusion bass, packing the dancefloor before the spoken vocal, glassy keys and muted jazz trumpet erupts overhead. An undeniable NDW killer, this sounds like a Germanic, avant associate of James Mason's "Nightgruv", Enzo Avitabile's "Blackout" and Hugh Masekela's "Don't Go Lose It Baby", but much weirder than that sounds. Essential deep dancefloor bizniz. "Dir" takes a different approach to audio enlightenment, transporting us into a North Rhine film noir with swelling synth tones, muted jazz trumpet and sultry spoken vocals from Isabel Zeumer. If you got lost in Vangelis' Blade Runner score, then you should seriously check this unsettling vision of atmospheric ambience. B-side opener "Der Schnupfen" sees the trio layering Isabel's spoken vocal and Becker's trumpet over a bubbling boogie rhythm section, before Stegman fully freaks out on the synth in the second half. "Abends" closes the set in subdued fashion, gentle Rhodes motifs creating a watery calm while the sustained synth drones and moonlit trumpet wax and wane around the intimate vocal. Embracing and experimenting with elements of ambient and even new wave, the four tracks selected here, seem to take music and spoken word into an entirely unique musical realm. It's yet another gift from Music From Memory.


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