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Shadows Documents

BB 175CD BB 175CD

Kenya meets Krautronics. Stefan Schneider and Sven Kacirek bring African rhythms into dark electronica. Under the auspices of the Goethe Institute and Unesco, Stefan Schneider and Sven Kacirek have spent a fair amount of time in Kenya in recent years. As they travelled the country, they recorded rare, traditional music in different locations, subsequently releasing two albums of unembellished field recordings to document their findings. Shadows Documents takes a different approach: Schneider and Kacirek graft their acoustically-gleaned impressions of Kenya onto pure electronic templates (with analog accents). Field recordings as such cannot be heard. A central role is played by the repetitive, hypnotic element which is so integral to tribal music with its complex rhythms. Both musicians share a fascination with these very rhythms, a recurring theme in their careers to date: clearly audible in Stefan Schneider's work with Kreidler and To Rococo Rot, as well as on his albums with Hans-Joachim Roedelius. In Kacirek's case we can look to his solo albums for evidence, in particular on the much-lauded Kenya Sessions. The duo's modus operandi differs from that of renowned Krautrock pairings such as Dieter Moebius/Mani Neumeier or Michael Rother/Klaus Dinger (= NEU!), where the drum kit plays a dominant role as the driving force. With Schneider and Kacirek, drums mutate into a sort of synthesizer instrument, almost subliminally melting into the sound of other instruments as a virtual observer, adding a certain nuance here and there, rather than performing a more catalytic function. Played with greater restraint, the drums create variations, translating physique into precision. Synthesizers, meanwhile, assume many of the percussive duties. A prominent guest musician joins the duo on one track: Niklas Addo Nettey, a Berlin resident since the early '80s, played with Fela Kuti 70.