La Double Absence
Thilges (sometimes known as Thilges3) are Austrians Gammon (bass, drums, guitar, electronics) and Nik Hummer (trautonium, synth, programming) and this is their second full-length release on Staubgold after their Die Offene Gesellschaft release in 2002. La Double Absence is Western experimental music meets Oriental art music. The ensemble emerged in 2003, when Thilges was commissioned by the renowned music promoter Jeunesse to make a composition. The track "Izdiucz" is characteristic of this release: in Arabic, this term describes the fusion of two different materials, and stands for breaking down cultural barriers, and certainly the guest artists on this recording are emblematic of that. The Persian vocalist Zohre Jooya is a widely known interpreter of Persian and Afghan music, and Asim Al-Chalabi who composed the tracks with Thilges is regarded as grandmaster of the oud in the Arabic world. Also appearing on this CD is American viola player Eyvind Kang. For La Double Absence a specific, new way of playing had to be developed; some pieces are completely notated, others are improvised. The music is based on magams, traditional Arabic scales, that were assigned to particular musicians. For this, Thilges invited some of Austria's most approved musicians for guest performances: Franz Hautzinger (Zeitkratzer, Comforts of Madness) and Peter Rosmanith (Otto Lechner Ensemble), who contribute trumpet and percussion parts. Patrick Pulsinger is responsible for the mastering of the record. La Double Absence offers everything a good pop record asks for: catchy melodies, complex rhythms, and a downright atmospheric density. The music is about bacchanal, melancholic, and difficult situations, thus simply about life. This is international music; timeless, beautiful, meditative, and complex. Thilges has been one of Austria's standard bands for sophisticated experimental and electronic music for a long time, and you can see why.