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«Internationale Solidarität»

Kapital Band 1 is a wordplay on Karl Marx’ seminal «Das Kapital», that its first volume – band in German – was published in 1867. Kapital Band 1 is the duo of Viennese drummer-composer Martin Brandlmayr, known from experimental, genre-bending bands like Radian and Polwechsel as well as collaborations with innovative improvisers and sound artists like Christian Fennesz, Otomo Yoshihide, John Tilbury, Mats Gustafsson and David Sylvian, and German, Berlin-based conceptual musician, composer and artist Nicholas Bussmann, originally an improvising cellist but here he plays on robot-controlled grand piano, «the automat», made by Winfried Ritsch.

Kapital Band 1 was founded as a sonic lab to explore the possibilities of improvising music with machines. «Internationale Solidarität» (the title refers, obviously, to the communist manifesto of Marx and Friedrich Engels from 1848) is the third album of this duo, following 2CD and «Playing by Numbers» (Mosz, 2003, 2007). The album was recorded at Taxispalais Kunsthalle Tirol, Innsbruck, in September 2018 and at Bayerischer Rundfunk, Munich in November 2018.

Kapital Band 1 investigates on «Internationale Solidarität» parallel existences and mimetic affirmations of machine structures and human patterns. «Internationale Solidarität» is a sonic search between impulse and logic, algorithms and attitudes, false random and real mistakes. The game structures and algorithms are employed in order to explore matters of community, power and language.

In the two extended parts of «Internationale Solidarität», Brandlmayr’s highly imaginative and unpredictable percussive language represents the impulsive pole while Bussmann’s robot-controlled grand piano emphasizes discipline, logic and structure. This kind of built-in tension between these idiosyncratic approaches offers compelling sonic dramas and nuanced textures. These textures blur the common distinction between spontaneous and free music and composition, and between contemporary music and minimalist sound art, borrowing ideas and even sonic syntax from electronics and techno. Kapital Band 1, in its own special way, suggests that the process of music-making is an act of solidarity and community that can shake down old power structures and overcome language barriers.

Eyal Hareuveni  

Martin Brandlmayr (dr), Nicholas Bussmann (robot-controlled grand p) 


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