Caspar Brötzmann Massaker's masterful second album from 1989 - remastered. The power trio's blunt force execution is directed by Brötzmann's explosive and exquisite six string conjuration. Channeling Hendrixian vibrations mixed with hard German industrial atmosphere.
Southern Lord's CASPAR BRÖTZMANN MASSAKER album reissue series begins this week as the label today officially presents the masterful debut The Tribe, originally released in 1988, and second album, Black Axis, originally released in 1989. Both albums have been remastered and presented as they were when originally released.
CASPAR BRÖTZMANN is one of the most unique and innovative guitarists of the last forty years. With his Berlin-based trio MASSAKER, he evolved a whole new autonomous approach to writing rock songs, starting from sounds that were widely considered ornamental if not detrimental "sonic waste" such as shrieking feedback and droning overtones. This plethora of sounds were arranged into tracks to sound like breaking concrete, grinding metal, or bursting glass, at once monumental and threatening, impenetrable and hermetic, yet also archaically tender and loving.
Even today, as the art of noise has reached a level of sophistication that no one could have imagined thirty years ago, CASPAR BRÖTZMANN MASSAKER's music is resoundingly singular. Ultra-heavy riffs and beats, ominous tribal chants, and a raw physical force is conjured up by these three sinister and proud minds of their era. Their unhinged, unified stream of energy is captured on these remastered reissues and the results are thrilling.
Born in 1962 in a post-war divided Germany, CASPAR BRÖTZMANN started out playing the piano, his main inspirations included, Hanns Eisler, singer Ernst Busch, his mother's "Hausmusik" (German tradition where the family gathers to play their instruments together), and also by the roaring sounds of his father, a virtuoso saxophonist aka "The Teutonic Axe" - a key player in the European free jazz movement, Fluxus artist, and ideologically adamant communist. CASPAR lived in fear and awe of his strict father, and he took to the guitar knowing that his father and his peers sneered at Americanized music, and especially electric guitars and the hard rock sounds that appealed to him, the likes of Ritchie Blackmore, Jimmy Page, and Jimi Hendrix. The guitar became, CASPAR says, "his shield against the unsettling world," also noting, "It wasn't about virtuosity, rather the love of the instrument."
BRÖTZMANN didn't have any formal training, but Hans Reichel - a family friend and an avant-garde guitarist who built his own instruments - showed him the ropes. Hans taught him how to manipulate the workings and mechanics of the guitar. CASPAR's left-handed instrument is less of a nod to left-handed Hendrix and more of a technical improvement to his own playing, allowing for a stronger low end, better access to the volume control, and the vibrato bar, all of which gives CASPAR BRÖTZMANN MASSAKER's music an unparalleled dynamic range.
The Tribe was CASPAR BRÖTZMANN MASSAKER's first album. Recorded at Jost Gebers' legendary jazz studio FMP in Berlin. To Gebers, who was far from being a fan of amplified music, BRÖTZMANN recalls, MASSAKER's music sounded "honest". The iconic sleeve was designed by CASPAR BRÖTZMANN's father. Prior to this record, CASPAR honed his craft as a solo artist opening for the likes of Nick Cave. It is now reissued as it was originally released, remastered for LP and CD.
MASSAKER lineup for The Tribe:
Caspar Brötzmann ? guitars/vocals
Eduardo Delgado Lopez ? bass
Jon ? drums
Julian Cope once stated that CASPAR BRÖTZMANN MASSAKER was, "The trio to end all power trios." Like The Tribe, Black Axis was recorded at Jost Gebers' FMP tudios in Berlin. Black Axis came to life in a rehearsal room so small with a ceiling so low that BRÖTZMANN, at nearly six-and-a-half feet tall, could barely stand up straight. The artwork was created by Brötzmann himself. The album is here reissued as it was originally release, remastered for 2xLP and CD.
MASSAKER lineup for Black Axis:
Caspar Brötzmann - guitars/vocals
Eduardo Delgado Lopez - bass
Frank Neumeier - Drums