Niels Klein TUBES & WIRES
(Clarinets, Effects) | Lars Duppler
(Guitar, Bass) | Ralf Gessler
quartet Tubes & Wires
is not your everyday line-up. With Lars Duppler
on e-piano and synthesizers, Hanno Busch
on guitar and bass, Ralf Gessler
on drums, and the bandleader on various clarinets, Klein presents forceful rock music that is played with the attitude of jazz musicians when it comes to instrumental technique. Saxophonist, clarinettist and composer Klein named his band and new CD somewhat jokingly Tubes & Wires
. ‘Tubes’ stands for the various clarinets that Klein plays and ‘Wires’ represents the many electronic, analogue and digital devices that connect with cables and drive his ‘effect clarinets’.
Klein’s Tubes & Wires quartet in fact sounds as if he, together with his band mates, transported Joe Zawinul’s motto for the 1970s group - Weather Report, ‘We always solo, we never solo,’ into the present for contemporary improvisers from Europe. Klein explains, ‘I step back from the position of a soloist, and act with my effect clarinets more like an electronic ‘wind organ’. My band mates offer a flexible set of instruments that consists of guitars, basses, keyboards and drums in order to create a strange analogue-electric sound.’
There are several reasons for the strangely diffuse sound of Tubes & Wires; since each musician in Klein’s quartet takes on different functions with their various instruments, it is easy to transcend stylistic borders, to stretch the improvisations beyond the limits of tonality and combine elements from the sound and groove into a collage made up of jazz, rock, pop, funk and club culture. Generally, there aren’t any digital derivatives in use but real, analogue instruments. For example, Lars Duppler plays a ‘real’ synthesizer and since there happened to be a harmonium around the studio, Duppler took its sound and incorporated it into the band, while Hanno Busch connected his guitars and his bass to an array of sound pedals. Tension from the drum set is infused into the rhythmic foundation of the band. For Tubes & Wires, Klein serves not just as the classic bandleader, but rather as a guiding spirit. On an ad hoc basis he manages how the various sound levels are put together or separated, which phrases are played at what points and decides which facets of his collage will take the limelight at what time. With his ‘effect clarinets’ he conducts the flow of ideas in an impromptu manner; he is in the thick of the action and on an equal footing with his musicians. Despite the musical profundity, Klein’s compositions are infused with a sense of humour.
From the Press
“With ‘Tubes & Wires’ Niels Klein expands the borders of Jazz” (DIE ZEIT)
“There hasn’t been such a crazy jazz recording with clarinet for a very long time.” (DIE WELT)