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Life as we see it by now by Brpobr

Difficult as this music is to describe, we can turn to the group's publicity material:

"Brpobr, Michael Bruckner (g), Fabian Pollack (g), and Bernard Breuer (d) improvise themselves with lots of briskness and effrontery through live."

"Stylistic elements are rock-sounds (as an energetic part) just as amazing skide-guitars. The wide range of brpobr leads from deconstruction over sounds decomposition into micro particles to even pretty song like concrete material."

"The radical concentration and suspense makes the cd more approachable than the content or twanging aspects. Another point which makes the cd really worth listening is its 'impartiality' (unlike the professionalism in being weired)."

If you find this difficult to follow you will have an even harder time with the music itself. Bruckner, Pollack and Breur create a completely abstract soundscape, characteristic of the kind of sound experiments that have emerged from German, or in this case Austrian, free jazz groups for the last few decades. If you are looking for melody, harmony or rhythm you will find precious little of it here.

Critic Noel Akchote writes that "Brpobr remind me strongly of the early Spontaneous Music Ensemble." Akchote is referring to the British group led by the late John Stevens. Having worked with this group, however, I have to disagree with Akchote. The early Spontaneous Music Ensemble produced albums such as Karyobin (Chronoscope CPE2001-2) featuring Stevens with Kenny Wheeler, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey and Dave Holland. This was music that was free, to be sure, and abstract, but which manipulated melodic and rhythmic elements to create a stark beauty and spun off dozens of remarkable recordings from all of these artists, such as Holland's Conference of the Birds or the beautiful Time Will Tell with Paul Bley, Evan Parker and Barre Phillips (ECM 1537 523 819-2). This album is closer to Pat Metheny's Zero Tolerance for Silence on the DGC label, with elements of John Cage/David Tudor.

One reviewer writes "The beginning of the CD doesn't leave the impression that you would listen to it to relax, when you come home late at night, all tired and stressed out. Noise as much as two guitars and a drum can make, make you feel even a bit uncomfortable, if not annoyed. But later on, through the rest of the four songs, the music is more calm. Calm is the word for the most of it, until it builds up into a tension, not too pleasant, but it is an inevitable consequence of the previous tranquility."

I did not get that far. Some of the sounds presented in the middle sections were so grating that I turned off the recording. If you want to make the effort to reach the tranquility then all power to you. But then banging your head against a brick wall is said to be a useful exercise because it feels so great when you stop. If you are looking for abstraction and free improvisation go to the source; check out Karyobin and its musical offspring. It will be much more rewarding.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Brpobr
  • CD Title: Life as we see it by now
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: aRtonal Recordings
  • Tracks: life, as, we, see, it, by, now
  • Musicians: Michael Bruckner - guitar, Fabian Pollack - guitar, Bernard Breuer - drums
  • Rating: One Star
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