Fazer: harmony of contrasts

            Fazer: harmony of contrasts

CLOSE

Munich is well-known for one of the highest standards of living in Germany, a reliable transport system, an abundance of architectural and historical monuments as well as vibrant cultural heritage. In the 60s, the basements of Munich were shaken by the revolutionary spirit of the krautrock classics from the likes of Amon Düül, and later Giorgio Moroder, who gave the Bavarian land a phenomenon called "Munich Disco."

The current musical life of the city is represented by such names as Skee Mask, Zenker Brothers, Schlachthofbronx, veteran labels Schamoni Musik, and Gomma, as well as Blitz club and now closed MMA Club that gave the nightlife its big splash.

Still, the city is often somehow undeservedly stripped of attention and usually resides outside the radars of those who are interested in an independent music scene and underground night culture. Indeed, it is hard to believe that behind the image of a removed corner of Bavaria lies a kind of alternative reality, different from everything that we've already known. However, each coin has a flip side.

We went to Munich in April to try and find out what is behind the ordinary of a traditional and relatively conservative European city. That is where we discovered dozens of labels, groups, artists, self-made organizations that give the new Munich scene its constant dynamism and prove that small, musical communities generate genuinely unique talents.


Supported by Goethe-Institut Ukraine.

Story

21/11/2019

Read more about the project

Munich is well-known for one of the highest standards of living in Germany, a reliable transport system, an abundance of architectural and historical monuments as well as vibrant cultural heritage. In the 60s, the basements of Munich were shaken by the revolutionary spirit of the krautrock classics from the likes of Amon Düül, and later Giorgio Moroder, who gave the Bavarian land a phenomenon called "Munich Disco."

The current musical life of the city is represented by such names as Skee Mask, Zenker Brothers, Schlachthofbronx, veteran labels Schamoni Musik, and Gomma, as well as Blitz club and now closed MMA Club that gave the nightlife its big splash.

Still, the city is often somehow undeservedly stripped of attention and usually resides outside the radars of those who are interested in an independent music scene and underground night culture. Indeed, it is hard to believe that behind the image of a removed corner of Bavaria lies a kind of alternative reality, different from everything that we've already known. However, each coin has a flip side.

We went to Munich in April to try and find out what is behind the ordinary of a traditional and relatively conservative European city. That is where we discovered dozens of labels, groups, artists, self-made organizations that give the new Munich scene its constant dynamism and prove that small, musical communities generate genuinely unique talents.

Supported by Goethe-Institut Ukraine.

Text: Tanya Voytko
Photo: Vitaliia Zhyriakova

Some people would argue that it’s not jazz because it doesn't swing. The fact that we not only listened to jazz for the last two years but also electronic music, for instance, stuff like Rhythm and Sound, was very influential. That has widened our horizons in terms of musical influences and made us set new goals, new ideas on what jazz music can sound.

Fazer is a relatively new face in the local music community. Their main influences are African and Latin rhythms, post-rock, classical Indian music, and dub techno. Being graduates of the Munich Academy of Arts, as well as adherents of a rather conservative jazz school, Fazer claim there are no limits for jazz.

“When we released our first album, a London DJ Mafalda included Mara in the mix for Dekmantel. Later we organized an audition at the Blitz club and a small gig in the record for Public Possession. I want our music, call it jazz or whatever, to sound in places originally not intended for it,” Martin continues.

Among the Munich artists, the Fazer band enjoys a reputation of diverse musicians. Firstly, due to the background of the musicians: guitarist Paul Brändle, drummers Sebastian Wolfgruber and Simon Popp, trumpeter Matthias Lindermayr and frontman Martin Brugger in indie, jazz, rock, and punk music. Secondly, thanks to a separate tribal techno project, Abstand by Simon Popp and Martin Brugger. And, thirdly, thanks to the sound of the group, which fused all of the above. Thus, a passion for lengthy works and instrumental music - guitar parts in combination with soft percussions have developed into what Fazer call their signature style.

When asked about how this amalgam of sound references was formed, Martin laughs: "I can't say that I come from a particularly musical family, my mother only played flute on Christmas and my father tried to learn harmonica, and that's it basically. But they fully supported me in all musical endeavours and I got guitar lessons from an early age."

At the age of 12, Martin Brugger formed his first group, inspired by Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky. But a turning point happened later - somehow the future Fazer founder got to the concert of German saxophonist Peter Bretsman in Porto, and his world turned upside down: "Peter Bretsman played with a rock trio, and that was amazing. They were going crazy, improvising stuff using really basic and powerful rhythms with saxophone and the guitar." - Martin recalls.

Martin decided to put what he heard in Porto into practice - this is how the Fazer project came about. However, here, Brugger clarifies: "Despite such a sound reference, I chose the guys, guided not by what instruments they play, but rather their character and style. The vibe of each participant was important to me, and I immediately believed that it would be a harmonious group."

The idea of unity was fully reflected in the entire subsequent discography of Fazer - the debut release of "Mara", and then in the more mature - "Nadi", which became the manifesto of the professional maturity of the musicians.

"Just the fact that the new record Nadi was recorded in 4 days vs. Mara, which was recorded over half a year, makes for the more homogenous record both in terms of sound and in terms of composition. There have been one and a half years, and we played a lot together, and we grew as a band. The interaction between ourselves as musicians has become better, I think."

Translated from Sanskrit, the word "nadi" means "thread," or "channel," through which, according to the teachings of yoga and tantra, vital energy moves. Multilayered, melodic, stretched in one synchronous plexus of soft drums, bass, guitar and trumpet, Fazer compositions are about the synthesis of sound, mind, and consciousness.

"We were thinking about the general idea of Fazer and came to a thought that we as a band act like a shoal of fish. Some time ago, the behavior of fish in the flock was compared to the form of telepathy due to their amazing ability to move synchronously. Because they move in one body, but they are still many individuals," remarks Martin. "And while recording the album, I realized how our music is happening, both live and in the studio. There is a theme, there is a melody, the basis of the song, and when it goes on, we just move as a band, and the rest of the song and the arrangement happens organically without verbal communications. Everyone plays, and the group becomes that body that moves in whatever direction the single parts take it."

Мистический мир Carl Gari

История

Художник Аня Лекавски и ее визуальные работы для клуба Blitz

визуальное искусство

Единый разум группы Fazer

История