As a founding member of the legendary German avant-garde ensemble Can, Holger Czukay is widely recognized as a founding father of experimental rock & roll. After his acrimonious split from the band, Czukay swore he'd never play live again. But the sounds of jungle, techno, and trip-hop rekindled his interest in the club scene, so when Dr. Walker (of Air Liquide) invited Czukay to join him on-stage during an underground party in Cologne, Germany, he was ready. This impromptu duo performance led to a number of more formal engagements, three of which are partially documented on these two discs.
If you know his name at all, it's as one of the founding members of the legendary experimental German rock group Can. But Holger Czukay's been mighty busy on his own over the last few decades, collaborating with the likes of David Sylvian, Brian Eno, and Jah Wobble; he's been remixed by the Orb and U.N.K.L.E.; and he's probably the first musician ever to have applied Edgard Varèse's principles of musique concrete to rock & roll (though he's certainly not the last). So with such an impressive resume, what does his first solo album in six years sound like? Well, lots of things.
David Sylvian and Holger Czukay are fairly eclectic and diverse musicians. In the European ambient scene, they are fixtures. Flux + Mutability is an album with two long-form compositions. "Flux" is "a big, bright, colorful world" and "Mutability" is "a new beginning…in the offing." These pieces are deep, expansive atmospheres with eerie samples and vacuous walls of sound. The second piece features only guitars, keyboards, and an African flute. The first piece has a much wider sound.
On Holger's invitation David spent a few nights working in Can studio with the legendary bass player which saw the production of this evocative album. Two long form, drone-based, instrumental compositions, this album has remained a firm favourite of David's. Originally released in March 1988. Plight & Premonition is the first of two collaborations between David Sylvian and Holger Czukay, Flux and Mutability being their second. The music is ambient, makes use of 'found sounds'. It consists of two instrumental tracks, both of which are over 15 minutes long.
This double-CD has 24 different groups of fusion musicians (including some from Europe) paying tribute to Weather Report. Despite the personnel and often the instrumentation changing from track to track, there is a unity to the project and many of the bands sound quite a bit like Weather Report, either purposely as part of the tribute or naturally. The programming is somewhat random and the bands bring back the sound, grooves, and spirits of Weather Report rather than necessarily always sticking to their compositions. All in all, this is a heartfelt and very well-played tribute that can also serve as an introduction to a cross-section of some of today's top fusion musicians, many of whom are not household names yet.