Celan "Halo" (2009, Exile on Mainstreet)
Nuevo grupo de Chris Spencer de Unsane con peña de Oxbow y el mitico grupo aleman, Einsturzende Neubaten, supuestos "inventores" del rock industrial.
11 tracks, 51 minutes. The explosive masterpiece that only happens when a classically trained composer meets noise rock and they decide to tear the boundary walls down.
A common musical ground does not ultimately require coming from the same scene or style. It doesn't even require coming from the same musical universe, as long as there is a deep appreciation for each other's work and the ability and will to push some boundaries. Celan was conceived of in early 2008 when Ari Benjamin Meyers (of Redux Orchestra and Einstürzende Neubauten ) and Chris Spencer (Unsane, Cutthroats 9) met in a bar in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin. Initially it was intended as a collaboration between a classically trained composer and someone who had been working and touring in a noise/rock band for years. It's quite an ironic side note that this collaborative idea was born in Germany, probably the last remaining country in the world where music reception, and thus broadcasting and media representation, is still determined by a separation between 'serious' and 'popular' music. Sure, bands like the aforementioned Einstürzende Neubauten have been working for decades on tearing these walls down and Celan might be another addition to this goal, although in a different manner. This album, titled Halo, is pure rock! It distills the genre to its core elements and channels pure emotion into sounds so thick and massive that one could only dream about them. It's fascinating how Ari Benjamin Meyers' skills stand up to the blistering noise blast created by the rest of the band. But let's talk history first:
After the initiation of the band at said Berlin bar, it became obvious that it was more than just a nice idea. The possibility of recording in the ex-Einstürzende Neubauten studio came up, and it seemed that it could indeed become reality. As months went by, the whole thing began to take shape with the addition of Philipp Körner and Xavi Thiem (both of ex- flu.ID-fame) on bass and drums. Chris, Philipp and Xavi met when flu.ID toured with Unsane in late 2007 and stayed in touch, becoming good friends. Chris also met Niko Wenner (Oxbow) during Summer 08, and the line-up was complete. In August 2008 they spent two weeks in the studio writing and recording, pretty much from the get-go. Forcing themselves into a fruitful jam/recording situation they laid a full album to tape in just two weeks. The songs are infused with this spontaneity and one can feel the chemistry between the band members which aided the creative process. Ideas use the musician and his instrument as a medium, creating stunning music literally by itself. Even though there is a lot of thought and creativity put into this album, it reveals its beauty through its compelling creative vibe.
And here we are: Halo is the debut album from Celan - a band you can pigeon-hole at your own risk - categorise as noise, rock or whatever you like. Please approach this masterpiece as we did : with an open mind, ready to be stunned by its sheer class, emotion and musical craftsmanship.