Pupillo, Babel & Brötzmann - Live at Candy Bomber Studio - Volume 1 (CD Karl Records)
This is pretty special. We’ve all known why we’re there. Massimo Pupillo, Alexandre Babel & Caspar Brötzmann are musicians with reputations as big as their back catalogues, so we know this isn’t going to be an easy listen. But who wants things to be easy all the time? (This is no disrespect but) this is what pop music is for. We put it on when we want to hear something catchy with great melodies. ‘Live at Candy Bomber Studio- Volume 1’ is what we reach for when we want something complex, compounding, and cataclysmic.
The album opens with the sound of musical thunder. Thunder is either a good thing or a bad thing. Depending on your opinion. It either clears the air and lowers the temperature or it means you are in for a rough time. Through these thunderclaps of guitars, the trio really start to get going. Pupillo’s bass is guttural and sounds like it made of rusty wire, instead of conventional strings. Babel’s drumming sounds like war drums in places and Brötzmann’s guitar is everything we’ve come to expect from him.
There isn’t much deviation from the opening, in all fairness. Over the next 32-minutes the players just go at it. Ragging on their instruments for all their worth. But this is what we wanted. This is why we decided to play this album. It wasn’t for a sunny insight into the human condition. It was to hear three exceptional players sounding like they all walked into the studio by accident. Saw the instruments lying about and thought “I’d like a go on that” and just start playing whatever they fancied. However, the more you play ‘Live at Candy Bomber Studio- Volume 1’ the most you start to realise how exceptional these players really are.
After listening to the album, we are left wanting more, yet at the same time feeling totally satisfied with what we have. Let’s hope that there is a second volume somewhere down the line, but if there isn’t then ‘Live at Candy Bomber Studio- Volume 1’ is an audio version of lightning, and thunder, in a bottle. NR