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TAX FREE

Though they don't seem close to the 6Music playlist, Tax Free have been turning out some seriously cool music for a couple of years now, and the return of Gerry Franke is welcome in my world. Last time out on 'Ulam Spiral', Gerry wove a wiggy spell between tribal percussion, jazzy guitar and disjointed dub, and 'Morphology' sticks with the palette but twists the focus into something more refined and impactful.

There's plenty to please Balearic beards here, whether it be the reverb soaked acoustic guitar and breathy pads of opener "Una Roca" (RIYL Joan Bibiloni), or the Arthur Russell-meets-Laswell groove of "You" (seen in two versions). Rhythmic duo 'La Cabina', 'Quince', 'El Puplo' and 'Staub' dance into the fourth world, while the psychedlic 'Syria' and 'Derd' utilise traditional instruments and backwards guitar to harness Zeppelin in Morocco. Gerry gives us a little techno club-dub on "La Corona" (check the subs and grab your face mask), soundtracks a particularly dark Seagal segment on "Una Finitud". Deep musica within folks!


A collection of bedroom-engineered rhythms, psyched out slow jams and 4-dimensional steppers by GF. Very low business risk. Brought to you by Max & Can. Fictional Background: The cinematic vision of an unfinished short film project entitled ULAM SPIRAL served as the main inspiration for the score composed by Gerry Franke. Farcically over-dimensioned, the film was impossible to realise from a financial and practical perspective - a psychedelic blast of visual concepts, that lead to the unique narration style in which Franke tells an exotic story of death, a madness created by obstinacy, intrigue and coincidental creation. In 1963 Stanislaw Marcin Ulam (1909-1984) discovered a remarkable spiral formation while sketching with numbers during a mathematic lesson. He drew the natural numbers starting with 1, continuing in a left spiral and highlighting all prime numbers. Soon an unexpected pattern emerged from the sketch: The Ulam Spiral. An unexperienced director, who everyone referred to only as "Stab", was determined to realize an optical idea that alledgedly came to him while being on a trip to Jordan reading about Ulam and his spiral discovery, which initiated ideas of the connection between regularity and coincidence in Stab's mind eventually leading to the abstract script for the short film in 1993. When Franke was approached by Stab to compose the score of the film, he loved the wild imagery and the complex themes and decided to record music for ULAM SPIRAL in early 1995. A few months later Stab disappeared and Franke took a break from producing the soundtrack to focus on his band. In 1998 Stab reappeared with new ideas and convinced Franke to proceed with the score for the film, only to vanish again a couple of weeks later. Fed up with the inconsistency of the project, Franke decided to finish the soundtrack for his own listening pleasure in 2001 and kept it a secret - until today.

Following last week's curveball, where Max Graef delivered some KP-approved weirdness on Money $ex, our disjointed German is back once again and joined by Funkycan, Graverock & DJ Neumann, not to mention the in-house all-stars - VAT Supergroup! With an unfathomably fresh palette of sounds and rhythms all five acts here deliver something head turning and stimulating. Personal favourite is the Max G effort, a percolated beat squashed through a resonator and with some enchanted melodic flurries. "Tax Free Theme" sees a fast paced, electro-themed number put through its paces while Gravrock's sine tone bleeps and drum box rhythms should keep those with a penchant for the wacked out and wonderful more than happy. Plenty to get stuck into here folks, get involved!


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