Saturday, 26 March 2016

Bohren & Der Club Of Gore "Sunset Mission" (2000)

 If ever there has a case of instant appeal, then Bohren and his "Club Of Gore" are a prime example of a sound Ive been waiting to hear, as soon as it graced my ears it all made sense. Known as Doom Jazz or Noir Jazz, a far more suitable name in my opinion, the sophisticated atmosphere of Jazz is taken to the dark side with a seductive persuasion that lures you in with its passive presence, soothing, gentle yet drenched in night time blues. The band are a four piece group from Germany who have been active since the early 90s and "Sunset Mission" is their third full length.

The setting for the groups music is quite simple, soft choral synths lightly grace the backdrop as deep baselines plod and blunder in the distance, the slow ride cymbal sets a crawling pace as it softly strikes and shimmers the tempo into existence. Variations of these set the atmospheres on each track for the saxophone, organ and rhodes keys to lead us through a tangent with their dark and brooding leads. It warms to the eerie and mystical but is rooted in an urban environment. Danger is always near, as if you walk the smokey alleyways of a crime smothered city where the sun never shines, a murder detective, who in a search for justice is burdened by the weight of the horrors they see. Its the soundtrack to a romanticized crime novel of dirty streets, shady criminals and alcohol addiction.

The record stretches on for 73 minutes and is more about atmosphere and tone than making an impact with any particular moment. On "Pain-Less Street Angels" there is a fiery level of emotion from the sax but asides from one standout moment much of this records charm resides in its ability to hold the mood without any visible intensity. There's a fair few peaks and distortions felt in the mix, nothing much to bother but its far from a remarkable production. It does enough to let the music do what it does so well.

Rating: 7/10