PREMIERE \\ The brilliant new remix from Switzerland’s Kaos Protokoll that isn’t technically a remix

10th May 2019
Kaos Protokoll are freaked out about the state of the human race on their record ‘Everyone Nowhere’ – and their fresh new ‘remix’ of the album’s track ‘New Chapter’ continues the theme. 
 
Premiering a remix of ‘New Chapter’ on Supreme Standards, the Swiss band teamed up with Frans Petter (bass) & Otis Sandsjö (saxophone) for it. However, instead of remixing it in the traditional sense, the two musicians actually re-recorded the track. What results is a version of ‘New Chapter’ which is glitchy in its electronic approach but entirely breathable. With the timbre of the instruments’ material, you can almost hear the tapping of fingers on sax keys and the rattling resonance of a snare drum. Fans of Jameszoo will be thrilled. 
 
Kaos Protokoll members Benedikt Wieland (bass, moog, EFX), Luzius Schuler (rhodes, keys, EFX), Flo Reichle (drums, electronics) and Simon Spiess (saxes, Bass clarinet) have been building momentum in Switzerland, a country whose Jazz scene is remarkably under the radar to its neighbouring European countries. Amongst other artists like earthy, Dilla-esque duo The Beautiful Now, Zurich based post-classical outfit Hely and the experimental electronic-jazz heads Trio Heinz Herbert, there is most certainly a sense of magic in the Swiss scene right now. Kaos Protokoll are very much at the heart of this brimming expansion. 
 
To celebrate the innovative ‘remix’ of ‘New Chapter’, we chat to Benedikt Wieland about the mantra and magic behind Kaos Protokoll. 

\\ The band has a belief system of ‘no concept as concept’; can you tell us how that mantra has continued throughout your careers together?
 
Well, that actually was the mantra at the very beginning, when we started as a trio: me on bass, Marc Stucki on sax and Flo Reichle on drums. This was back in 2011. We called it trash-Punk-Jazz with no concept, because we came from such different places musically and the idea of genres just didn’t make sense to us. It was normal for a given song to start in one place and end up at the opposite pole, musically. It was about having fun, having high energy on stage and putting everything that we loved into our music. On our second album we collaborated with Django Bates, and this record was basically perfecting what we were doing before, but in the process it changed our sound and our concept crystallised. This was also a turning point for me as I just moved from Bern, Switzerland to Berlin. Our latest record, Everyone Nowhere, was really steeped in what I drew from living in Berlin. As a band we also upgraded from a trio to a quartet. Simon Spiess replaced Marc Stucki on sax and Luzius Schuler joined us on keys. If you compare this record to our beginnings, it’s totally different musically. But I guess even this radical change could fit under the umbrella of ‘no concept as concept’.
 
\\ Tell us about your new remixes; did you have a method planned for adapting them from the originals or was it a case of experimentation?
 
The idea was to collaborate with other musicians that we love. When I first heard the solo album from Y-Otis, I was really blown away. The project is basically the saxophone player Otis Sandsjö with Petter Eldh on bass, Elias Stemeseder on keys, and Tolo Weber on drums. They call the style Swedish-Trap-Jazz. Their sound is really special and really fresh, so they were definitely my first choice. I told them they can do whatever they want with the track and that I don’t want a regular remix. As a result, they decided to re-record our song in their own style. I love what they did to the song!
 
There are some more remixes on the way. We have Robot Koch who is now moving away from club parameters to more soundtrack territory. He even moved to LA! And there will also be a remix from a project called SWIMS  which is the incredibly talented drummer Arthur Hnatek. He plays a rigged kit with all these triggers and produces proper club-fitted electronica, but just by playing live. So this will also be a live rendition, hopefully with a video so that you can see the process. 
 

\\ Switzerland’s Jazz scene is really fertile right now; could you describe it to us, and who should we be listening to?
 
You’re right! There is so much happening at the moment, especially in regards to moving Jazz out of its comfort zone and old school presets. The fact that these new projects are hybrids allows them to finally be seen outside of the insular “Jazz festival circuit”. The projects that come to mind are Trio Heinz HerbertMe&MobiOmni SelassiSwimsManuel Troller. They’re all really doing their own thing and I would urge you to check them out. 
 
I think that there is a change of the guard happening in Jazz on a global scale, I also see it happening here in Berlin. Just last week I was at a festival in Switzerland, called Stanser Musiktage. I spoke with some of them from the team and he said something very interesting. He said, that ten years ago playing in a Jazz band was seen as something out of step with the times. The cool section of the media wasn’t really interested in the genre, but today it’s considered relevant again, and at the cutting edge. This coming Saturday we are gonna play a double show with another interesting band called Jeremias Keller Vertigo  they also deserve their shine. And our drummer also released some a very tasty project called The Beautiful Now  combining all types of afro-rhythms to hip-hop. Bandcamp even had them listed as one of the most interesting hip-hop projects in 2018.

So we definitely have great music in Switzerland, the problem is that the scene is very fragmented still. I’m hoping that the media attention that Switzerland is starting to get as far as music is concerned, and Jazz and Electronica specifically, will help to solidify the scene and bring everyone together. Strength in numbers, right? London gets it!

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