Jazzkaar is halfway through and it’s about time to go all in. This time the talent came straight from Germany, Berlin to be exact and the reception that followed amazed me. Komfortrauschen is a true comfort noise, as the name hints, which let everyone forget their problems, lift their spirits and empty their heads from all negativity ‒ and all that via music. The band’s minimal-techno approach to jazz left the audience speechless. “There’s no way I’m going to dance tonight” said I before opening Punane Maja’s door at 11 pm. 10 minutes later I was proven wrong…
First of all, where have these guys been and why haven’t I seen them perform in Estonia before? Komfortrauscen’s outgoingness and vibrant attitude managed to win the audience over in minutes, there just is something about this band that makes you dance along even though you promised not to. The idea is simple: bass, guitar and drum. Pretty ordinary, right? But when those three men put their instruments into one whole, something magical happens. Their pieces were full of energy and impulsive, making everyone wonder how all these sounds are only created with three instruments.
Komfortrauschen’s style is difficult to describe, it is a mixture of electronic jazz and techno vibes, with just a tinge of psychedelic sounds. All that combined creates hard to resist music that made the crowd come along to every musical movement the band executed. The guitar solos of Laurenz Karsten gave a great tone to the concert, varying from higher sounds to lower ones, with intermittent frequency. Phillip Oertel gave the much needed deepness to the pieces with his bass, which often was the essence of their unique style. Tim Sarhan on drums brought it all together, laying the crucial foundation for their minimal-techno interpretations in a jazz context.
But the thing that the audience enjoyed the most was how the performers felt on stage. They enjoyed every minute of it, making it very clear to the listeners. Sarhan gave everything he had behind the drums, becoming the most energetic drummer I had ever seen. Meanwhile Karsten was playing solos and dancing at the same time, not even mentioning Oertel who made people in front of the stage move just like he did. When musicians enjoy being on stage, then the kick that the audience gets from the performance is even greater than could be imagined.
The technique how they managed to make three instruments sound like a DJ set, remains a mystery, but their way of playing the instruments was calculated to detail. Every pull of string and every drumbeat had a necessity; nothing seemed out of place or over the top, a synthesis between minimalistic expressions and grand tonal sounds ‒ all in one concert. The usage of stage lights enriched the volume of the sounds, emphasising it or downgrading it if needed to, which kept a great balance between the pieces.
All in all there could be only two conclusions made. Estonia needs more of Komfrotrauschen and the world needs more of Komfortrauschen. This band has so much to offer to the sometimes too traditional jazz field. Their youthful expression and impulsive beats made everyone get lost in that vibrant mixture of the sounds straight from a European metropolis. Even though it could take about 2 hours by plane or 19 hours by car to reach Berlin from Tallinn, every hour spent in order to listen to this extraterrestrial band is time well spent.
Check the photos of the concert here.
25th of April, 11 pm at Punane Maja
Laurenz Karsten ‒ guitar
Philip Oertel ‒ bass
Tim Sarhan ‒ drums