The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble – From The Stairwell (2011)

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I discovered them back in 2009 through the “Mutations” EP which promised to be the preamble for the new album. It’s been over a year and finally we’ve got “From the Stairwell” and eight fresh tracks. This is a Jazz experiment with gloomy electronic textures and atmospheric noise spices, it has a deep Miles Davis after-taste and abstract post-industrial flow, well, this is avant-garde in it’s deepest meaning.
TKDE started in 2000 as a project to compose new music for existing silent movies. Jason Kohnen (better known as Bong-Ra) – double bass and fretless, respectively Gideon Kiers – beats and effects, both graduates of the Utrecht School of Arts, combined their audio and visual skills to reinterpret classic movies by F.W. Murnau (Nosferatu) and F. Langs (Metropolis).
While Bong-Ra is quite known  having several releases through labels such as Planet Mu, Cock Rock Disco and Sublight, Gideon Kiers worked with Jochem Paap (Speedy J), on the development of the 5.1 surround sound ‘Umfeld’ project. Runs the bi-annual Sonic Acts Festival in Paradiso Amsterdam.


In 2004 UK trombonist Hilary Jeffery and Swiss cellist Nina Hitz joined TKDE to record the self-titled debut album which was released on Planet Mu Records in May 2006. The ensuing tour saw Eelco Bosman and Paris based vocalist Charlotte Cegarra join, forming the Ensemble into a sextet.  London based violinist Sadie Anderson joined in 2008 to supply the group with extra power on stage.
The Netherlands has been TKDE’s homebase since 2007, while members have moved closer to each other to make composing and producing easier.
Apart from the mothership which is TKDE, there is another entity: The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation which is a live improvising jazz/drone/doom sideproject consisting of TKDE members and a host of interchanging guest musicians. Due to the vast possibilities within the band, the sound spectrum of TKDE is hard to define clearly. The project(s) explore various styles depending on the respective members working together at the moment. Blending between atmosphere and technique is always the strong basis for a TKDE composition.

Live TKDE fuse analog and digital as much as possible. Combining traditional instrumentations (comprising cello, trombone, violin, beats, guitar, bass and vocals) with existing and/or self-developed software, continuously blending and mutating, creating an organic and electronic performance, supported by visuals which add to and interact with the frequencies of said instruments.
Graduated from the Paris College of Music, specializes in electronics, French vocalist Cegarra Charlotte join the band, multi-instrumentalist, playing xylophone, flute, piano and rhodes.
Dutch guitarist, part of the Utrecht guitar-drone music scene in Utrecht, currently working on 78 RPM, a heavy droning project, Eelco Bosman join in as guitarist.
Violinist and multi-instrumentalist for Chrome Hoof, Kobayashi Ensemble, Blue Roses and many other projects, Sadie Anderson also join the project.

“From The Stairwell” it’s a musical journey into the dark unknown, TKDE knows to sing using quiet, using creepy sound suggestions, juggling with states and moods, shifting from jazz to ambiental, cinematic soundscapes ore merging them into one. They create a quite unique universe which always hold exciting surprises to the audience.

TKDE – Official Site
TKDE @ MySpace
TKDE @ last.fm
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