Released: November 18, 2018
“The thing about a dream or a vision or a hallucination is that they’re really hard if not impossible to express using conventional language.”
These are the words spoken by Mr. Are Dot, who features in the Everywhere Nowhere’s final track SunRaColtraneSolar. Everywhere Nowhere is the fourth release by Swiss post-jazz group Kaos Protokoll, who are working hard to pull jazz into a deeper exploration of subconsciousness.
The album “ruminates over ideas such as presence, psycho-emotional connection to physical spaces, and the artist’s perpetual engagement with flux.”
Composer Benedikt Wieland writes cinematic jazz tracks that transcend traditional four-piece arrangements. Electronics, synths, and effects accompany saxophone, bass, guitar, clarinet, keys, and drums, establishing an aural depth by fusing the physical with the ethereal.
When I think about music that explores the subconscious I usually picture long, clumsy tracks featuring guitar solos with heavy delay, unwarranted repetition, and layers for the sake of layers; music that’s only good when you’re stoned or maybe when you’re discovering Pink Floyd as a teen. This is not the case with Kaos Protocol.
The saxophone lingers and swirls like smoke and the bass creeps like footsteps that aren’t your own in the album’s sixth track ‘TXL’. Digital layers serve as a foundation for the track, bridging a slow and mysterious first-half with an explosive second.
The songs are slick and cool, the cinematic associations they work with can place you in a new world; perhaps the dark alleys of a sci-fi noir film. Trenchcoats in the rain, neon lights reflecting off puddles, people slipping through spaces they’re not supposed to be in.
Naturally, phrases are repeated in Everywhere Nowhere, but always with nuance. Whole sections are rarely repeated and melodies unfold with fresh perspectives, leaving you with little to grasp on to. The world built by Kaos Protokoll is always transforming, moving, gripping you by the hand and running you somewhere new.
Although Everywhere Nowhere is driven by a specific mood, the musicianship is not sacrificed or stripped bare for the sake of style. The instrumentation is rooted in jazz, the performances sharp, the solos punchy and impossible. Simon Spiess’ sax solo in ‘The Cosmos In My Backyard’ is resounding.
Everywhere Nowhere is a journey through space and time signatures, fluid and sleek, it’s an introspective demonstration of music’s ability to take you where words fail.
by Joel Thomas | Jan 9, 2019