Label – Wonder (WON01CD)
Format – CD, LP, Download
Country – Germany
Released – 2000
Genre – Contemporary Jazz, Lounge, Downtempo
It’s Sunday evening, it’s Jazz time. If you want to be transported to a smoky, backstreet lounge bar and listen to cooler-than-cool Badalamenti-inspired jazz, you can’t go wrong with a bit of Bohren und Der Club of Gore.
I’ve been a fan of jazz music for a while now, but have never been a proper “jazz fan”. What I mean is, I haven’t immersed myself in the rich history of Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Sure, I own a few of their CDs but I never considered myself to be part of the jazz crowd – in the same way that I am a loose fan of classical music but don’t have knowledge of the genre beyond some Arvo Part, Dvorak and Vaughan Williams CDs. I’m what you would call a “casual” jazz and classical fan I suppose – I know what bits and pieces I like and dip into them accordingly.
When it comes to jazz, I much prefer mellow, laid back lounge style jazz to all of that random freeform stuff that I sometimes hear. Modern jazz from the likes of Skalpel, The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble and Bohren are much more palatable to me than some guy having an epileptic fit on the end of a tenor saxaphone – I’m not a jazz purist for sure.
So, to Sunset Mission. It doesn’t really make sense to review this album in terms of individual tracks; they are all so similar in form and style as to be almost indistinguishable from each other. The only variances come in subtle changes of pace and tone, and in the lengths of the tracks. Track names such as On Demon Wings, Darkstalker and Nightwolf should give you an indication that this isn’t happy, innocent jazz music – this is jazz that has a dark, brooding atmosphere most suited to visions of tired old private detectives rooting around crumbling motels for clues to nail that scum who has been cheating on his wife. This is jazz that hints at the black and seedy underbelly of whatever no-good town you have been unfortunate enough to wind up in.
Bohren und Der Club of Gore have taken the Badalamenti template and have run with it, creating an album which works equally well as background music if you want to sit down and read a Raymond Chandler novel, or as something more sinister if you turn up the volume a bit and allow yourself to get swallowed up in its languid, hypnotic melodies. Enjoy….at your peril.
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