Konk Pack - Off Leash (10.2004)
Off Leash is the third release of the delicate high-energy trio Konk
Pack – founded in 1998 and made up of Thomas Lehn on EMS-synthesizer,
Roger Turner on drums and Tim Hodgkinson on la-top steel guitar and clarinet.
Big Deep (1999, GROB 102) was a selection of their first concerts: Warp
Out (2001, GROB 323) was the first studio recording. Off Leash is a live
recording again, from a concert in Utrecht in 2001 that was made under
most favorable conditions conceivable. The sound is superb, the details
of the live performance can be heard in the CD’s tonal image, the
instruments are present and clear. If you close your eyes, you can easily
imagine sitting directly in a stirring concert. But what are the best
recording conditions worth with the music cannot keep with them?
Off Leash bears up to the musicians’ critical ears. For the first
time they are so convinced of their own concert that they found it valuable
to release it in its entirety on a CD. (This, by the way, is why the CD
is only being released now: they listened to the music again and again,
checked it, compared it to other recordings, and then it was mastered
by Thomas Lehn in the end.) For the first time, Off Leash offers the opportunity
of following an entire Konk Pack improvisation in real time, without any
post production dramaturgy and cosmetics. The extremely powerful passages,
their legendary free punk, is in a perfectly balanced proportion to the
peaceful, sometimes fragile, passages that nearly crumble apart.
The music is both: it is consistent, like of a cast, like from a group
that had played far more than 100 concerts (which is seldom in the world
of improvised music); the music, however, is also eruptive, often surprising,
fragmentary and heterogeneous. The music from Konk Pack is the contradiction
made productive: finely engraved tonal work and hard free punk are not
placed non-reconcilably next to each other; in fact, they determine each
An essential reason for this is the radically horizontal improvisational
method of the musicians. All three constantly play with each other. There
is no fore or background, no soloists and no accompaniment; in general
no solo and no “feature” of one individual. The system “Konk
Pack” means that each has to constantly keep the other two in his
ear. Their music is and remains consequently collective. Off Leash, the
Utrecht concert, is currently the best live recording of their holy palaver.
The cover art work is from Tim Hodgkinson and Roger Turner.
back to GROB catalog
GROB655 Steamboat Switzerland - Wertmüller