Bohren & Der Club Of Gore
Piano Nights
Pias Recordings
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1Im Rauch 5:29
2Bei Rosarotem Licht 6:42
3Fahr zur Hölle 5:36
4Irrwege 3:39
5Ganz leise kommt die Nacht 8:22
6Segeln ohne Wind 6:23
7Unrasiert 4:44
8Verloren (Alles)10:29
9Komm zurück zu mir 9:50

Why change remains or: the forward projection of sublime slowness. What else would one have expected? And yet who would have expected this? 20 years after "Gore Motel" and some five years after "Dolores" the obdurate Bohren & Der Club of Gore quartet return with the almost suggestively entitled "Piano Nights", its sound only reminiscent of the ideal meeting point of "Midnight Radio" and "Sunset Mission" from quite some distance. Instead, the album title shows nothing but exemplary respect for the song. In unmistakable Bohren style! But let us not speak of BPMs or minor scale doom metal! Let's talk about the piano which resonates here! No, this is not a grand piano, 'only' a very good Yamaha piano, recorded in Cologne's Dark Victory Studios. Put it to the test, play "Piano Nights" and go into the next room or, if possible go upstairs (or down)! Vibraphone, Mellotron, organ, saxophones, bass, drums and spirit choirs notwithstanding, you will hear one instrument above all the others: piano. "Piano Nights". Full Clayderman alert? Not in the slightest! A piano, a piano. A grand would have sounded too noble, too powerful, although the idea for "Piano Music" was born prior to a Bohren concert when Christoph Clöser played a selection of Bohren pieces on a grand in Moscow "out of boredom, more than anything" (Clöser). A grand piano, in depth at least, possesses enormous power, but a piano is far more ambiguous, less lofty and - most significantly - not quite so serious.

Following the 3 track intermediary work "Beileid" (2011), a myriad of possibilities beckoned, the band having experimented with a guest vocalist by the name of Mike Patton no less and covered Warlock's "Catch my Heart" with no trace of irony. In this context, "Piano Nights" actually appears to be something of a return to their roots, albeit based on complex arrangements and a broader palette of sound. This is typical of their rigour. As long ago as 2005, a review of "Geisterfaust" noted: " 'Geisterfaust' is the opposite of ambient. It is an ecological offer to the listener to face the power of the essential element. Every sound seems to have been selected with unlimited patience, whilst tonality simultaneously requires that very choice. The purity and clarity of this album are created, to an extent, through the musicians." Not automatically, but instinctively. The four musicians, who consider "Piano Nights" to be their best album since "Black Earth", are at pains to stress than the album title is not satirical, but a standard, a framework they set themselves. Furthermore, as on every new album, the challenge is to maintain a level of commitment built up over decades, whilst avoiding the pitfalls of routine. "Horror Jazz" is over, once and for all, baby! When Bohren recently heard that their music is said to have stylized jazz into an art form, they were not unhappy about it. They craftily vampirize what is a mere superficial cult of virtuosity. In this sense, "Piano Nights" asks once again: how do our senses react when the usual bombardment of acoustic information is not forthcoming, when we are returned to our own devices and given time: to listen. Lots of time. A great amount of time. And plenty to listen to.