tue 16/04/2024

Album: Kruder & Dorfmeister - 1995 | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Kruder & Dorfmeister - 1995

Album: Kruder & Dorfmeister - 1995

Horizontal herbal music from 1990s trip hop pairing is pleasantly zonked

Maaaan, this pen is heavy, is this OK?

Lordy, how much marijuana did we smoke in the 1990s? When people arrived home from the endless dance, jack-frazzled, 6.00 AM or later, pupils the size of 7” singles, legs twitching to invisible percussion, the time arrived for doobies, chillums, bongs, an eternal blissed NOW in foggy, curtained living rooms.

The accompanying music was my generation’s unlikely conceptual fusion of prog rock and easy listening. Music journalists gave it proper names, like "trip hop" and "chill out", but it was really just wibbling, spliffed ear massage. And Austrian duo [Peter] Kruder & [Richard] Dorfmeister were lords of the endless horizontal after-party.

Their G Stone label’s output and, especially, their 1996 DJ-Kicks mix were everywhere. 1995 derives from the same period, curated from a box of DATS that have been sitting around ever since, resulting in their first album since The K&D Sessions remix collection 22 years ago. They are now polished up and presented as the band’s new album. There is even a track on it called “White Widow”!

My ears are unstoned as I listen which, frankly, feels unfair, like cheating even. At around an hour-and-a-quarter, 1995 goes on way too long for the sober music lover. This would not matter if, like the best head music, it made you feel drugged up even when you’re not, but there’s a lot of rambling noodle here, jazzy sketches over plodding, smudged breakbeats.

Cherrypicked, however, it offers up moments. Moby-ish opener "Johnson" bodes well, but best is the 13-minute “One Beat”, a spectral piece that anticipates dubstep abstractionists Burial and Shackleton, a spooked meleé of bongo, hiss, blobby bass, bird song, and what sounds like an auctioneer. The rest just floats by, likeably, dreamily, even funkily, but also forgettably. It’s meant to be listened to tonked out of your gourd. That is its function. As I’m not, I offer a nostalgic – and admittedly generous – 3/5. Give it 2/5 if you never dabbled.

Below: Watch the video for Kruder & Dormfmeister "Johnson"

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