Blechbarrage is the Austrian working trio of tuba player Johannes Bär, reeds player Andreas Broger and drummer and head of the Boomslang label Alfred Vogel, known for his collaborations with such heavyweight improvisers as Barry Guy, Mats Gustafsson and Peter Evans. The EP «Liebe Grüsse vom Neusiedlersee …» (Greetings from Lake Neusiedl …, relating to the largest endorheic lake in Central Europe, crossing the Austrian–Hungarian border) was recorded far away from the Lake Neusiedl at the Austrian alps in Vogel’s home base, Bezau, in February 2021, and is the trio’s third album.
The five pieces reference known locations in upper Austria, and all are improvised on the spot. Bär, Borger and Vogel came to the recording session with a suitcase filled with toys and gadgets, ready to enrich their sonic palette and at the same time challenge and surprise their comrades, and never repeat familiar dynamics. And indeed the five pieces radiate a sense of adventurous and urgent playfulness. In the first piece, «Auf der Alm do ist es so schön», Borger still attempts to anchor the busy commotion within instant melodies but Bär and Vogel sound as if they wanted just to have fun, wild fun. Eventually, on the latter pieces, even Borger joins this kind of anything goes and do whatever you like wild spirit.
But Blechbarrage can also operate like a sonic lab, searching for new sounds and dynamics as The free improvisation «In luftigen Bergeshöhen» proves. Bär’s gadgets add there an almost electronic layer of a vintage synthesizer. «Schilfrau(s)chen am Fuschlsee» injects a lyrical touch into the improvised interplay and the last piece, «Wenn ich dir am Mondsee in die Augen schau» (a word play on the title of a famous Austrian saccharine pop song), even swings, with Bär’s tuba playing the funky bass part.
Johannes Bär (tuba), Andreas Broger (s), Alfred Vogel (dr)