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Fremont, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1995 | SELF

Fremont, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 1995
Band EDM Avant-garde




"Hans-Joachim Roedelius celebrates his 77th birthday at Cafe Du Nord"

What a cerebral evening,” a show companion observed as we exited Cafe Du Nord last night, pushing the doors open to a whoosh of cool fall air. Indeed. For the man who's seen it all, first as a child actor in 1930s Germany, then as a reluctant member of the Hitler Youth, and finally a pioneer of early experimental krautrock in the 1970s and ambient jazz, Hans-Joachim Roedelius (Cluster/Harmonia) was not the confrontational artist one might expect. Tall and bald with wire-rimmed glasses, he was erudite, pleasant, subdued.

He looked concentrated while constructing music, focused mainly on lilting keyboard and buzzing MOOG and an Allen & Heath ZED 14 mixer (note: I read the back of machines well), but between the pieces Roedelius smiled wide, nearly goofy. It was his 77th birthday, a rather special occasion. He kicked off the set with a startling sample of America's national anthem, followed by a half-hour-long piece of ambient drone. He then told us he'd play Europe's national anthem and out came a crackling Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 ("Ode to Joy").

The crowd, mostly casual in black hoodies and sportscoats, wished the living legend well, and sang him "Happy Birthday" (English version). Roedelius looked pleased, thanking us back repeatedly, tipping his handled glass of amber liquor. I guessed it spiced rum, just to keep it casual, another show companion thought perhaps brandy. Astute observations all around, companions.

An aside. These are the sounds I heard (or perhaps conjured) during the set of experimental openers, XAMBUCA:
1. Fat drops of metal tears.
2. Supposedly what it sounds like to have cochlear implants (according to a This American Life episode)
3. Fuzzy ham radio waves
4. A swarm of electronic birds
5. The knock-knock-knocking of a looming horror movie villain

*Note: excuse the red-soaked tone of the images. But really gives you a sense of the humming womb ambience, no? - Emily Savage

"Roedelius W/new LP, Rare US Tour"

October will see a rare US solo tour by the legendary Hans-Joachim Roedelius, plus a new collaboration from him, an album called 'Stunden (billed as Roedelius Schneider, featuring Stefan Schneider of Kreidler and To Rococo Rot). It arrives Oct. 25 on Bureau B. For the American tour, which starts Oct. 1 at ATP in Asbury Park and wraps at the end of the month at the annual MoogFest in Asheville, NC, Roedelius will have as opening act XAMBUCA, aka Chandra Shukla and Jason Scott Furr (from Asheville)

The mastermind behind many electronic music projects over the last 35 years, Roedelius founded the seminal bands Kluster (with Dieter Moebius and Conrad Schnitzler - who recently passed away) and Harmonia (with Moebius and Michael Rother) and recorded the albums Zuckerzeit (Cluster, 1974) and Deluxe (Harmonia, 1975), which are considered blueprints for today's electronica. In the late 70s he also worked with Brian Eno.

Kluster morphed into Cluster and ran through 1981, getting back together at various points again starting in 1989. Most recently the group has been calling itself Qluster, which just released the album Fragen - we'll have a BLURT review for that shortly.

Tour Dates:

Oct 1. - Roedelius with Simeon of Silver Apples as 'Silver Qluster' at All Tomorrow's Parties Asbury Park, NJ

Oct. 2 - Roedelius / XAMBUCA / PAK Big Band at Littlefield Performance + Art Space Brooklyn, NYC, NY

Oct. 4 - Roedelius / XAMBUCA at the Thunderbird Cafe Pittsburgh, PA

Oct. 5 - Roedelius / XAMBUCA / Head Molt, visuals by VJ Megan McKissack at Strange Matter, Richmond, VA

Oct. 7 - Roedelius / XAMBUCA and The Drunks of MAMA / DJ Chris Ballard at The Grey Eagle, Asheville, NC

Oct. 8 - Roedelius / XAMBUCA at The Eyedrum, Atlanta, GA

Oct 9 - Roedelius / XAMBUCA at The Pilot Light, Knoxville, TN

Oct 12 - Roedelius / XAMBUCA at Velvet Lounge, Washington D.C.

Oct 13 - Roedelius / XAMBUCA at M. Room, Philadelphia, PA

Oct. 15 - Roedelius / XAMBUCA at 1000 Pulses, Woodcliff Lake, NJ

Oct. 17 - Roedelius / XAMBUCA at The Garrison, Toronto, Ontario CANADA

Oct. 20 - Roedelius / XAMBUCA at The Mockbee, Cincinatti, OH

Oct. 23 - Roedelius / XAMBUCA at Mt. Tabor Theater, Portland, OR

Oct 26 - Roedelius / XAMBUCA and The Monks of DADA at Cafe Du Nord, San Francisco, CA

Oct. 27 - Roedelius / XAMBUCA at The Echo, Los Angeles, CA

Oct. 28 - Roedelius / Lunzproject w/ Tim Story at Moogfest, Asheville, NN

Oct. 29 - Roedelius / Lunzproject w/ Tim Story at Moogfest, Asheville, NC

Oct. 30 - Roedelius / Lunzproject w/ Tim Story at Moogfest, Asheville, NC - Blurt online

"Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Xambuca"

Pioneering German artist Hans-Joachim Roedelius is best known as the co-founder of Krautrock forefathers Cluster and Harmonia, but don't think he stopped there. The visionary force behind the early ambient and electronic movements not only collaborated with some of your favorite artists (Bowie, Eno, and Neu!, for starters), but he also released a whopping 40 solo records. And he's still going. Roedelius might be 76 years old, but his gorgeous kosmische has only gotten better with age. The old man isn't showing any signs of slowing down, either. When Cluster broke up for the third time last year, and original member Conrad Schnitzler passed away, what do you think Roedelius did? Call it a day? No—instead, he mustered together a trilogy of new releases and set off to tour the states with multimedia collective Xambuca. Just make sure you catch this show. You never know, it might be your last chance to see a living legend. CHRIS CANTINO - Chris Cantino via The Portland Mercury

"Xambuca – “Joulupukki” – [Erototox Decodings]"

X A M B U C A, is a non-sensical arrangement of letters spelling out what most often confuse to be the Italian liqueur known as sambuca. In actually the name lacks any direct definition whatsoever, the similar spelling only a mere coincidence. X A M B U C A is not limited to any particular style or category of music and would like to establish that it not be limited to the confines of musical categorization. They formed in SF but are now in Asheville, NC. Joulupukki translates literally to Christmas Goat but is actually just the Finnish version of Santa. The entire album is drone or the same 30 seconds on loop and the songs go nowhere. That being said it is great listening material and can at times be rather hypnotic. When I was entering tracks I saw a note saying FPS music. I truly didn’t think about that while listening but it really could be in a video game. Mostly in menu or down time situations when you are walking from place to place. Defiantly not when any real action is going on though. - Train Wreck via KFJC

"Hans-Joachim Roedelius - Xambuca - Kohoutek - Blue Sausage Infant -- Velvet Lounge - Oct 12 2011"

Hans-Joachim Roedelius w/Xambuca - Xambuca is a solo electronica musician who started the set with dark spacey background sounds and ambient beats on top. This is a tad more out there than Blue Sausage Infant and it has its moments. I do hear a sample or recreation of TARDIS (of Doctor Who) landing. The video projections are much better than usual, so the effect is good and the audience is certainly into it. After a bit, Hans-Joachim Roedelius joins in on keyboard where they briefly play together before Xambuca leaves. Roedelius also has an electronica/synthesizer unit he additionally employs, although the created sound always has a lot of space. Roedelius is an important name in krautrock and experimental music as a founding member of Cluster. I am stunned to find that on my 52nd birthday (and feeling all of that), I am watching someone two weeks shy of their 77th birthday! I've done the math three times and am quite impressed at his abilities and desire to keep making music (especially overseas). It appears that an ATP show with Silver Apples may have gotten him over here for a brief US tour, but he's playing a lot of dates with Xambuca and it is a real treat that he included Washington DC on the tour. He plays an ambient style but with plenty of melody and dramatic tension. It was quite enchanting and the room was riveted. Well, aside from the group behind me where a guy was describing how he added some lo-fat cream cheese to something and added some mint... You know maybe that's ambient, too, but I really don't need full out ambience. But the crowd roared at set's end and coaxed a brief encore of more quiet meaningful piano tinkling. This was an entertaining show that was a nice offset to the heavy or the heartland which populates most clubs. And it was great to see one of the real pioneers on stage at the Velvet Lounge.

Quote of the Night: From one of the regulars standing near me when discussing how large the crowd was... "Wow, that's great. When was the last show here that had a large turnout?" - DC ROCK LIVE

"XAMBUCA - Joulupukki (Erototox Decodings) 2011"

The Sami, Europe's northernmost inhabitants, are an indigenous arctic culture inhabiting Fennoscandia (the Scandinavian Peninsula, the Kola Peninsula, Karelia and Finland). There, underneath the Baltic Sea, lies the Baltic Shield, the exposed Precambrian northwest segment of the East European Craton. It is composed mostly of volcanic rock belts which have undergone numerous deformations through tectonic activity. This region contains the oldest rocks of the European continent. During the Pleistocene epoch, great continental ice sheets scoured and depressed the shield's surface, leaving a thin covering of glacial material and innumerable lakes and streams. The Baltic Shield is still rebounding today following the melting of the thick glaciers during the our current ice age, the Quaternary Period.

This first full-length from Xambuca states dedication to the Saami people and the nation of Sapmi. The music here seems to equate not only to the 3 billion year old geological history of this icy multi-cultural region, but to the ancient pre-christian shamans, cult images and animal ceremonies so important to its people. Unfortunately, and much like the rest of Scandinavia, Swedish priests eventually refuted and abolished anything they deemed heathenism, superstition or witchcraft.

Joulupukki is cerebral electronic music fueled by dark ambience and introspection. These are soundscapes that are at once glacial and volcanic, driven by minimal beats that feel post-industrial and post-techno. There is a consistently somber mood presented here. Certain pieces hint at martial percussion and there are even sounds that invoke concepts of science fiction and Marinetti's retro-futurism that are all shrouded in Orwellian discontent. Later there is a track of doom-laden electric guitar that ever so slowly cuts through the breakers of the Baltic Sea.

Under this monumental weight, the Atlas that is Joulupukki manages to attain catharsis. The latter pieces over-driven, the beats big, brutal and nasty, the record seems to therapeutically expunge itself of all emotion, culminating in a final cut that is a defiant ship lost in a storm, battered by rogue waves yet faithfully waiting for the calm. In this state of mind, devoid of all concern, there is nothing left but a meditative stasis. - The Nomadic Subject


XAMBUCA Releases 2006 - present

Gestalt Screams From Imaginary People (CDr, EP)
Erototox Decodings 2006

Xambuca + RK Faulhaber - Wiping With Pride (CDr, Album)
Erototox Decodings 2006

Ubu Caxam - A Collection Of Work In Progress
(CDr, Album, MiniAlbum) Erototox Decodings 2007

(CD, Album) Erototox Decodings 2011



X A M B U C A is an ongoing multimedia collective as a constant with help from several other
trusted authorities; namely at different times and places: Chandra Shukla, RK Faulhaber, Jason Scott Furr, Lux Vibratus (Chrome), Dave Jones (Sturgeon Hoof), Alec Way, Jason Berry (Vaccuum Tree Head), Ron Anderson (PAK), Elisa Faires, Larry Thrasher (Psychic TV, Splinter Test, Thrasher Qawwal) Todd Mellors(Saifir), M.S. Waldron (irr. app. ext. and Nurse With Wound) and more recently with the father of modern electronic and ambient music Hans-Joachim Roedelius, along with the video and audio expertise of Jason Scott Furr and Megan McKissack. The crew has been seen if not heard sonically feeding the beast known as X A M B U C A.
X A M B U C A is not limited to any particular style or category of music and would like to establish that
it not be limited to the confines of musical categorization...experimental you say? Well we've experimented and know the possibility of most usable sonic results. So has the rest of mankind now that we together embark upon the footprints of human unoriginality.

As the name implies, X A M B U C A, is a non-sensical arrangement of letters spelling out what most often confuse to be the Italian liqueur made from elderberries known as 'sambuca'. In actually the name lacks any direct definition whatsoever, the similar spelling only a mere coincidence. Cause it's never what you think it will be, but it might and we'd like you to start thinking it's whatever you want it to be...even if it's horrible.
This being indicative of the chance operational, improvisational, free-for-all element of approaching art
with a naivete free from distinction, categorization, organization, limitation and imitation while also struggling with the confines of these simultaneously as we would be naive also to ignore that these phenomenon exist wherever humans are possible.