Every now and then something musically strange presents itself up for review. In this case, it was an album by ‘Andres Holz.’ On first play, it didn’t take long to conclude that it was not an album easy on the ear but likewise one where the music could not be so easily ignored. But I have to say that on first hitting my CD deck there was, on my part, a strong inclination to move swiftly on to something else. However, such an inclination was dismissed out of some weird curiosity. It was, I think, more than anything else due to the energetic jangling ‘Wald- Zither’ lead instrument. Yes, this instrument and it’s similarity with the Turkish ‘Saz’ creating the resultant ‘Anatolian’ folk sound was what actually grabbed my interest. Of course, this ‘Saz’ like sound would be no surprise knowing the extent of Turkish migration in Germany and here the apparent fusion of boisterous German language vocals, electronic interferences and the jangling sounds of the stringed instrument would seem a natural partnership.

From the angle of musicality, the projected sound is almost entirely rhythmical with only a modicum of melodic content. In the main, the delivery of the music comprises various sequences of repeated ‘Wald- Zither’ riffs, flowing resonant bass lines overlaid on top of military-style drumming with a conglomeration of electronic noise interspersions used with good effect.

Whilst there is an amazing energy that is infused throughout the ten tracks any thoughts that the music could transport you to quixotic destinations are soon dispersed with the introduction of harsh and gruff Germanic vocals. These are mostly projected in a forcefully noisy manor. I really liked the fact that the vocals are sung entirely in German and as such it kind of adds a new dimension to the overall sound.

The variety of note sequences that can be produced from the ’Wald Zither’ is quite amazing and certainly, there are many moments throughout to enjoy. When you consider that the majority of the rhythm extends from this single instrument it leaves you quite in awe of its immense capabilities.

However, some mysterious decisions have been made with the production side of the album, for example, track eight opens with a cacophony of unbearable electronic noises which are somehow stretched out for an overlong four minutes before giving away to some extremely delightful fast-moving folk styled music.

I guess ‘Anderes Holz’ would be quite fun to go to see at a gig, where you could immerse yourself in the music and at the same time take in and absorb the purpose-made horrific atmosphere created by the ‘Alice Cooper’ like costume dramatics.

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ANDERES HOLZ ? Progressive Folk Rock