“Lament For Klaus Kinski” – Jazkamer
I had written this long introduction about the particular heaviness of Jazkamer’s music and its seriousness vis a vis bands like SunnO))), but it seemed like bullshit in retrospect. Listening to Jazkamer is akin to pouring concrete mix around the folds of your brain and letting it dry—there is a deep, expanding density to their music that also might hurt. Audible harshness transformed into physical discomfort and riff epiphany. Jaz starts from kind of a Black Sabbath premise, strips out the vocals and drums and cranks the guitar to the front of the mix. I’m not sure what type of amplification they use, but I would definitely use it if I wanted to harm myself or someone else. Norway must have a deep, mystic vein that musicians tap to channel these dark impulses. Joseph Conrad had it totally wrong in the Congo, he should have been in Oslo. The horror—for real and shit.
The song below, “Lament for Klaus Kinski,” is essentially a single guitar riff beaten to death during the course of two minutes and eleven seconds. The notes from “Klaus” freeze time when they contact the atmosphere in your personal space—cannibalizing your consciousness with the illusion that there is nothing else in the world except for your being and the being of an incredibly loud fucking electrified phrase emanating from a speaker. To say that Jazkamer transfixes by force would be an understatement. “Klaus” appears on Chestnut Thornback Tar, the May installment of the band’s year-long experiment of monthly releases. The Jaz of Chestnut is an expanded line-up, adding N.A. Dronen and Jean-Philippe Gross to the Marhaug – Hegre terror duo. The lone grind of “Klaus” is a simple idea done well. Although that sounds like something Anthony Bourdain would say, it’s true whether we’re talking dripping calf’s marrow or crippling overdrive. At one point we hear several chains are being raked along various pots and pans. This is apt, as it would seem that Jaz actually dine on metal chains before destroying shit music-wise. But fuck the food metaphors, let’s EAT.
Lasse Marhaug answers some of my questions.
Did you make this song while you were pushing an enormous ship over a mountain? If not, where did you make it?
It was recorded indoors in the city of Bergen, Norway. But it felt like dragging a ship over a mountain. We slaved over that song for several weeks, trying hard to make it work, but failing over and over again. It drained us and we almost collapsed in the process, but finally after long nights of blood, sweat and tears we managed to pull through and the magic of good music revealed itself. For Jazkamer that track was something of a personal victory. We cried tears of joy.
The repetition on “Lament” and other songs on Chestnut is almost devotional—is there a sacred element to Jazkamer’s music?
Nothing is sacred in our music. Quite the opposite. If we repeat ourselves it’s because we keep forgetting where we’ve been.
Why did you decide to release an album each month?
Because releasing an album every week is too much work.
Does each month have a particular tonal quality? What was the inspiration behind the May installment?
Each monthly album has its own sonic colour palette. The May album was inspired by long cold nights of Norwegian winter. We wanted to make an album of warm music that would feel like spring.
Why does Kinski deserve a lament?
Klaus Kinski died for our sins. A lament seems to be in order.