Bat English

by The Elks

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credits

released May 11, 2017

The Elks
Liz Allbee - trumpet
Kai Fagaschinski - clarinet
Billy Roisz - electronics & e-bass
Marta Zapparoli - tapes, reel to reel tape machine & devices

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The Elks came together for the first time in Berlin in 2014. In 2016 they had the chance to climb upon a few stages, and two of those live encounters were caught on tape. The A-Side of Bat English gives a good glimpse of their thrilling live set at the Konfrontationen Festival in
Nickelsdorf, Austria. A few months later the quartet travelled to Geneva to play an intimate show at the touring musician’s favourite Cave12, as heard on Side B.

From the experimental music scenes of Berlin and Vienna one might expect a rather reduced and elegant sound world. But these Elks have other ideas in store, and don’t mind to get their antlers a little dirty. There is no fear here of the loud, the dramatic, or on occasion, some boorish braying. Though they may still tip-toe gently on their hooves or whistle a delightful tune to mock some clueless humans.

"Bat English" is the second album by The Elks, coming out as a fast and sweet limited tape release. Next up for the Elks is their soon-to-be-released debut album "This Is Not The Ant" (CD on Mikroton Recordings in Autumn 2017).

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All music by The Elks
A-Side recorded by Hans Holler live at Konfrontationen, Nickelsdorf on July 21st, 2016
B-Side recorded by Benouz live at Cave12, Geneva on October 12th, 2016
Edited and Mixed by Liz Allbee and Kai Fagaschinski
Mastered by Dieter Kovacic
Cover artwork by Liz Allbee
Layout by Marta Zapparoli
Antler drawing by Kai Fag...
Many thanks to Hans F., Friederike, Hans H., Sixto, Marion, Yvonne, Benouz and Dieter

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reviews:

BAD ALCHEMY
Mich knutscht die Fledermaus! Die vier, die einen da aus ihrer Wohnwagenhöhle anstarren, das können nur The Elks aus Brooklyn sein, 'Eaters of the Dead', getagt mit metal psychedelic rock punk? Aber es sind wohl doch unsere 3 Berliner + 1 Wienerin, mit der schon von Anubis gebissenen und bei den blood & guts-infer­nalischen The Liz versphinxten Trompeterin Liz Allbee noch als der Harmlosesten neben der cilantronischen Billy Roisz an Electronics & E-Bass. Der Metal-Albino entpuppt sich als die Tapemaschinistin & Chaos Pries­tess Marta Zapparoli (Splitter Orchester, aber auch Partnerin von Roisz bzw. von Allbee als PareiDoliA), der Satanist am Flügel als der Schall und Rausch beschwörende Kai Fagaschinski, Klarinet­tist bei The International Nothing und auch sonst eigentlich ein feiner Kerl. Zu hören sind ihre Performances beim Festival Konfrontationen 2016 in Nickelsdorf und im Genfer Cave12. Sie fallen gleich als brünftig röhrender Elch ins Haus, mit gestöhntem Gebläse und eisigem Wind. Aus der Trompete kriechen die Dämonen der Bruits secret, um Geheimverhandlungen mit dem tierischen Bodensatz in Body & Soul zu führen. Am Gegenpol erklingt zarter Schutz­engelgesang und Klarinettensound, eingesponnen in feinen elektronischen Schaum oder in Pulverschnee, eine träumerische Idylle, mit einer träumerisch gezirpten Trompete auf Bass­feedback, bandtonumschlauft. My kingdom for a lullaby? Nebulullaby? Verzerrter Funk­spruch, verhallende Kinderstimme, die Klarinette einsilbig, die Trompete tonlos, immer noch traumverweht auf gepixeltem Mikrobeat. Dann kauende Geräusche in der Fledermaushöhle, die sich auch von Störimpulsen nicht scheuchen lassen. Ist das noch Stimme, ist das schon Klarinette? Was eben noch crescendierte, grummelt und flötet jetzt leise an der Hör­schwelle, draußen Alltag im Regen, im Radio, mit Moped oder Kirchenglocken, drinnen subtile Höhlenforschung nach dem Geist eines Höhlenbären, nach dem Pulsschlag im Mutterschoß. Die Trompete presst, der Rauschpegel schwillt an, Allbee rhabarbert zu brausendem Noise, die Klarinette zwitschert, das Herz klopft, der Bass tupft in wieder eingekehrter Beinahestille. Draußen Sirene und Verkehrschaos, das auch das Drinnen bestürmt. Aber die vogelig bepiepste Stille entzieht sich, und The Elks entlassen mich in den Straßenlärm vor meinen Fenstern, auf den eine Amsel pfeift.
by Rigobert Dittmann in May 2017

VITAL WEEKLY
In 2014 The Elks first came together; a quartet of Liz Albee on trumpet and preparations, Kai Fagaschinski on clarinet, Billy Roisz on electronics and e-bass and Marta Zapparoli on tapes, reel to reel tape machine and devices. It's the latter that is for me the unknown one. In 2016 they started to play live and did so in Nickelsdorf, Austria and Cave 12 in Geneva, Switzerland. Of both of these concerts we find cuts here, some twenty-five minutes per side. You would perhaps expect, based on the history of these players, something that is very quiet and subdued, leaning towards some ultra quietness, but they set out - bravo - to do something different. And doing something different, something out of the ordinary is what we like of course. The music is louder, grittier, more daring but without making a giant leap into the world of noise. That doesn't happen, but they are all on an adventure trail here, going out of their comfort zone and doing something different (well, obviously I can't speak for Zapparoli). It bursts, hisses, drones, and there is a constant presence of sounds, lurking beneath the surface when the volume drops but there is also a bit of violence (all relative of course, it's not japnoise), such as in the first section of 'Geneva', and a fair portion of the second part of the second Geneva section when they reach for something powerful. But as said, moments of introspection and quietness are never far away and throughout these seasoned players pay close attention to what the others are doing, creating an excellent dialogue in sound. This is some wonderful music.
by Frans de Waard in May 2017

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Liz Allbee: lizallbee.net
Kai Fagaschinski: kylie.klingt.org
Billy Roisz: billyroisz.klingt.org
Marta Zapparoli: martazapparoli.blogspot.de

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The Elks Berlin, Germany

The Elks are Liz Allbee (trumpet), Kai Fagaschinski (clarinet), Billy Roisz (electronics & e-bass) and Marta Zapparoli (tapes, reel to reel tape machine & devices).

The Elks are an experimental, electro-acoustic quartet from Berlin (3/4) and Vienna (1/4) founded in 2014. They played concerts in D, CH and AT and plan to conquer the rest of world very soon.
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