October 27, 2023

German post–modern noise rock ensemble ZAHN present their second full–length album ‘Adria’, an 80–minute–long journey into the heart of classic European holiday culture!

Consisting of Chris Breuer (Heads, ex the Ocean Collective), Nic Stockmann (Heads) and Felix Gebhard (Muff Potter, Einsturzende NeuBauten), ZAHN stands in the progressive tradition of musicians from a local scene working together on albums and exploring new grounds regardless of the respective bands they became known for. With a debut album that was recorded in only two days, this trio revealed an insatiable thirst for creation and boundless ambition in rhythm and texture.

ZAHN are:
Chris Breuer – Bass, Synthesizer, Drum Machine, Lap Steel Guitar
Felix Gebhard – Guitars, Synthesizer, Bass VI, Electric Piano
Nic Stockmann – Drums, Electronic Drums

Released on 24th November (Crazysane Records), ‘Adria‘ offers a bold escape from your daily life through technicolor transmissions of post–rock, krautrock, dark jazz, noise–rock, post–punk and electronic music. Influenced by the likes of Trans Am, The Jesus Lizard, Metz, The Melvins and Tortoise, ‘Adria‘ is a compelling soundtrack to a 1980’s anti– utopian road movie!

Found on stickers on the backs of millions of camper vans crossing Europe each summer, the word ‘Adria’ has become synonymous with the magic of going on holiday for many generations of continental plebeians. It represents a mythical destination with the promise of leisure, but also an arduous road journey and a healthy dose of exhaust fumes. Like watching the sun set over a shabby highway restaurant or eating a melting popsicle next to a dirty campsite pool, ‘Adria‘ offers the perfect balance of blandness and heaviness.

With ‘Adria‘ ZAHN have chosen the scenic route to create a collection of vivid sonic vistas, juxtaposing their noise rock roots with healthy doses of a variety of genres. ‘Zebra’ opens the album like an otherworldly elevator overture faintly echoing the chirping sound of crickets in the warm evening wind, ‘Faser’ stretches out like a highway marrying noisy krautrock textures with remote math-rock elements. Meanwhile, the closing track ‘Idylle’ could easily fit on a soundtrack album to a lost David Lynch motion picture!

Once more, ZAHN have curated a wider group of talented musicians to augment their own multi–instrumental exercises. ‘Amaranth’ with its rolling rhythm features some excellent doom rock stylings courtesy of guitarist Markus E. Lipka (Eisenvater), while the jazzy mid–section of ‘Tabak’ is softly propelled by the subtle accordion flourishes of Joanna Gemma Auguri. ‘Schmuck’ features an artful build-up in 5/4 time, embellished by the tasteful guitar playing of Jobst M Feit (Radare); while the aforementioned ‘Idylle’ features his bandmate Fabian Bremer (Radare, Aua) on synthesizer.

Returning to the task of making these musicians sound good is Peter Voigtmann (The Ocean Collective, SHRVL) who recorded the album at his Die Mühle studio in Northern Germany. The huge storage space of the old mill provided an ideal recording site for ZAHN’s big drums and huge bass sound while leaving ample room for the intricate atmospheres created by the other instruments. Voigtmann also provided his magic on the uncanny end section of ‘Yuccatan 3E’ and on ‘Idylle’, perfectly capturing the edginess of the song with shades of slow shimmering sequencers and synthesized textures.

Adria‘ was mixed and mastered by Magnus Lindberg (Russian Circles, Cult of Luna) at his Stockholm studio. The cover artwork, based around photographs by Lupus Lindemann (Kadavar), was designed by Fabian Bremer (Radare, Aua).

Adria‘ is a testament to the incredible power of this trio and its ability to effortlessly ensnare your attention for the duration of a ten minute–song of purely instrumental music. Over the course of the album’s 11 tracks ZAHN emerge as a sort of “The Pink Floyd of Noise Rock”(!) , relentlessly pushing the envelope on what’s already accomplished while remaining tasteful and tasty at every corner – give it a whirl, it’s fascinating stuff!