Instant Drone Factory are a multi-national mix of German, Italian and Japanese musicians, featuring Frank Gingeleit on guitar and guitar synthesizer, Andrea Tabacco on guitar and vocals, Thomas Hinkel on synthesizer and flute, Rie Miyazaki on bass and Morihide Sawada on drums (the latter two from Marble Sheep). Ho Avuto Paura del Mare (Italian for I Was Frightened By The Sea) is their latest album and includes guests Norbert Schwefel on piano and Verona Davis on vocals. I should add that the cover art is an oil-on-canvas painting by Raphaela Langenberg, inspired by the idea of being scared by the sea.
The album opens with Ain’t Nobody. Piano and free-jazz drumming dominate, but are augmented by spacey guitar and effects. Then about halfway through the drums get more of a rock beat going, the guitar comes to the forefront and takes on an acidic quality, and brief vocals sing in a kind of Punk-Soul style. Lots of interesting contrasts and the entire 9 minute piece feels like an extended buildup. Put Down The Guns is a Can-like rocker with pounding tribal drumming, trippy jamming guitars, ethereal flute, a cool old time organ sound, effects, and Damo styled vocals.
I like the combination of crunchy guitar blasts and spaced out guitar on Out Of The Chaos. The piano plays a lulling melody in the background while the band marches along steadily playing very intense and determined Rock. Frank and Andreas’ guitars really go together well on this tune. Ghost Rider is next and right out of the chute the band set a frantic, quirky rhythmic pace, with both guitar and synths creating atmospheric effects. Morhide is like a man possessed on the drums, the guitars are wild, and the vocals are like Captain Beefheart meets Damo.
In stark contrast to the previous two tracks, Ho Avuto Paura del Mare / Do You Love What You See starts off very meditative, with guitars, drums and synths all contributing to the soundscape pool. The vocals are anything but meditative, singing Italian lyrics in a sort of punk-ish crooning style. The music trips along, slowly evolving and establishing a cool jazzy groove, and all the while various spacey effects come and go. Then in the last few minutes the intensity level builds and the band rock out for the finale. RIPPING guitar! The musicians really gel on this 15 minute tune.
Instant Drone Factory will appeal to fans of classic Krautrock (particularly Can), but the musicians are clearly jazz influenced as well. The sound quality and production of the album are excellent, which is important with this band because each musician makes very distinct and often contrasting contributions and the listener needs to hear that to really appreciate the music. Check these guys out.
For more information visit the Instant Drone Factory web site at: http://www.instantdronefactory.org
For purchasing the CD in the US, Instant Drone Factory recommends Grooves-Inc as the best deal. CLICK HERE to go directory to Ho Avuto Paura del Mare at Grooves-Inc.
All Instant Drone Factory CDs are internationally distributed by the German Indigo distribution company. If you don’t find it in your country or if it’s over-priced (“import price”) you can order directly from the Instant Drone Factory website.
Hear the entire Ho Avuto Paura del Mare album online at: http://soundcloud.com/instant-drone-factory/sets
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz