VÖ 20. Oktober 2023, im Vertrieb von Galileo Music Gmbh

Compact Disc

Music can be so many things. So why not all at once? Best of all, it unites all conceivable opposites within itself and accomplishes the paradox of conjuring up the clash of the obvious in the harmony of the incompatible. When the German expressionist Paul Klee painted his Dadaist watercolor "Zwitschermaschine" in 1922, he had a visual idea of the cacophonous bird apparatus, but possibly no idea of its sound. The Leipzig based band Zwitschermaschine (not to be confused with the art punk band of the same name from the end of the GDR era) now provides an answer a whole century later.

Saxophonist and clarinetist Mark Weschenfelder, who is also responsible for the compositions, saxophonist and flutist Paul Berberich, flutist Vincent Bababoutilabo, trombonist Johannes Lauer, double bassist Andris Meinig, drummer Florian Lauer as well as Florian Kästner on Fender Rhodes and Jan-Einar Groh on Modular Synth lure us on their second album "Looping" into a magical labyrinth full of acoustic traps. As soon as you get involved with a statement, an idiom, a pace or an attitude of the band, you find yourself somewhere else entirely in the next moment. What in the perception of the moment looks like the supposed opposite of what you have just heard reliably forms a coherent whole in the large scale concert of contrasts.

This effect is not necessarily intended, Mark Weschenfelder emphasizes. This album is a subtle conglomeration of styles from a variety of influences. The band draws on jazz as well as punk, on brass band music as well as electronic music, and these are only four of countless other beaks from which it chirps away here. However, Weschenfelder is not concerned with opposing one genre or another in the sense of a congealed patchwork aesthetic and breaking it up from within. "I always ask myself where the essence of a piece lies. I then start working away at that, even if that process can take months. I don't want to fall into the mode of determining from the outset how a piece should sound, refusing to absorb clichés without questioning them." A new conceptual framework is set for each piece, which is filled or expanded as the process unfolds. Often, when listening, one gets the feeling that one has already internalized certain passages long ago, but without being able to concretely assign them, because they precisely follow the parameters of their very own flexible logic without exception. Instead of an open break, Weschenfelder seeks the gentle flow of extremes.

Now there is by no means a shortage of set pieces on "Looping". But by questioning each of them, he frees the band's listeners from the burden of having to do that questioning themselves. You can take everything that happens on the album - and a lot happens - for exactly what it is. Simply doing things because that's the way you do them is out of the question for Weschenfelder and his Zwitschermaschine. The bandleader comes from a background of free improvisation, but composes for the band in a much more complex way than one would expect in this kind of jazz compatible music. "Sometimes I'm jealous," he admits unapologetically, "that I put so much work into my compositions, when every now and then in improvised music it can go as easily. But those are the exceptions. And they are them and we are us."

The permanent search for meaning in this music between the unfulfilled longing for perfection and the unconditional readiness for pragmatic creative destruction is reminiscent of an imaginary dialogue between Faust and Mephisto, in which one always remains on the path, but intentionally never reaches the goal, because the goal would be the end and would not allow any expansion. Weschenfelder and Co. permanently blow up their own frame, but at the same time always shift the horizon, which thus always remains equidistant. With the originality of his compositions and their realization, he also wants to reach those layers of listeners who are interested in nothing less than avantgarde or experimental music. Jokingly, Weschenfelder speaks of “Sophisticated Elevator Music” and thus hits the nail on the head.

Euphony and noise, calm and chaos, calculation and impulse, recourse and departure. Maybe jazz. "Looping" is the rigorous cross sum of everything that the music of this album is, and all that it could be beyond that, but for good reason is not. Music that presupposes absolutely nothing when you listen to it, but stands in the way of no presupposition. Omniversal sound art in its most consistent expression.


Mark Weschenfelder

composition, sax

Paul Berberich


Vincent Bababoutilabo


Johannes Lauer


Andris Meinig


Florian Lauer


Florian Kästner

fender rhodes

Jan Einer-Groh

modular synth