First Minute of a New Day: s/t LP
Lars Bartkuhn and Jan Hennig (better known by his artist name Kabuki) have been friends for 20 years, but it wasn’t until late 2017 that they started collaborating musically. Both veterans in their respective corners of club culture (Kabuki in Jungle, Bartkuhn in House), their experiments together saw them drift away from beat-centric, floor-filling music, and land on the deep-listening side of soundsystem culture. These sessions saw both producers combine their individual strengths — Kabuki as an engineer, sound designer and modular synth wiz, Bartkuhn as a classically trained musician, composer and guitar player — into something that carries their sonic fingerprints, yet achieves something greater than the sum of its parts. Impressed with the results of these sessions they decided to name their project The First Minute of a New Day, and focussed on mixing and editing down the sessions with an album in mind. The duo also enlisted fellow sound-traveler Laraaji, who jammed long-distance, layering his characteristic phased zither over one of their sketches, which became “July 14th”. All of the tracks on their self-titled LP are named after the day of the initial session, proclaiming their improvisatory genesis. The resulting recordings have the looseness and heady structure of jazz sessions, but with deeply felt electronic production, like something born from Can’s Inner Space Studio or touched by the magical hands of Conny Plank. The deep mix of electronic jazz, new age and ambient, combined with the deft abilities of the players, makes the album feel like a decidedly modern addition to the ECM or Windham Hill canon.