Germany’s Kammerflimmer Kollektief creates completely cinematic music that hints at lounge accessibility but creates enough free-jazz moments to spike their sounds off the map. Originally a one-man bedroom project by Thomas Weber, Kammerflimmer Kollektief bloomed into a full-fledged group on their previous full-length, Cicadae, and the same expansive scope permeates the sounds created here. There’s actually very little modification in the formula for this album, but when a band’s this close to perfection no one should complain.
“Nachtwache 15, September” glides by on noir cool, like steam off a rain-drenched street in summer. “Hausen” rustles up a brief allusion to rural country/folk by way of pedal steel and fiddle usurping the dominant role. Hidden in the midst of the double bass underpinning, jazzy horn swagger and ectoplasmic guitars is a short-lived flurry of guttural electronics on “Equilibrium.” The intestinal distress continues on “Betaubt” with some heavy low-end rumbling.
Absencen is this year’s entry as top Urban Reflection album. It’s got the right mixture of sounds culled from the asphalt, steel and neon of a metropolis at midnight. What’s more is that it’s ambient music that doesn’t exist simply to fill the void behind the visuals; it creates its own.