Bye And Bye I'm Going To See The King


This is the second full-length album on Staubgold for Heaven And, comprised of members Tony Buck (The Necks); Steve Heather (Efzeg); Martin Siewert (Trapist); zeitblom. Heaven And's second album simply cannot be attributed to any genre. Earthy bottleneck guitar licks or wailing lap steel harmonies are occasional references to folk and blues, yet they're only an acoustic sheet lightning on a heaven in which -- occasionally -- violins play on cloud nine. But the delicately-tared string quartet does not emanate an acoustic cotton-wool coziness. Rather, it's a precisely-accentuated "European" counterpoint to those seemingly primeval American motifs. A similar ying and yang is evident in the sometimes deliberately jarring, and almost seamless juxtaposition of acoustic and programmed sounds. From the hovering clouds and walls of sound generated by keyboards or an organ unexpectedly emerges a percussive pulse. Digital sizzling, throbbing and clicking stand in contrast to melodic guitar mantras. Monolithic bass patterns mutate into thunderous noise attacks. Electronic tweeting reminds one of flicking across the dial of an analog radio. Massive layers of chords develop the sinister and gorgeous force of a stream of lava. Dark drum patterns, ritualistic trance grooves or the evident use of snare drum and cymbals are proof of drummers Tony Buck and Steve Heather sure feeling for magic rhythms and associative counterpoints. In other passages, the band goes without beats -- which gives the music a more cinematic feel. For this album, live improvisations were used as a basis, which were processed and edited thoroughly, allowing all 6 tracks to develop sublime arcs of suspense, sudden changes in dynamic and an intensity which at times almost assaults the listener. Guest pianist Ali N. Askin (who has been vitally involved in the Ensemble Modern's Zappa projects) arranged the string quartet, trumpet maverick Franz Hautzinger contributed abstract sounds, while Michael Weilacher completed the rhythmic structures with additional marimba or vibraphone patterns. Named after a song by Blind Willie Johnson, nevertheless, Siewert assets that the band's music "reminds me more of Haitian voodoo masses than of classic blues from Texas ... it reminds me of an archaic spirit and unadulterated, transcendental energy."