HOWL! – Reviews


May, 2013 – MusicWorks (Canada) Review by Stuart Broomer –
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March 8th, 2013 – Gapplegate Music Review by Grego Edwards –
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February 5th, 2013 – Der Standard (Austria)
“Das Noise-Jazz-Tier bruellt” (von Andreas Felber) –

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January 2013: Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter (NYC) –
Peter Van Huffel’s GORILLA MASK – HOWL! –
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Jazzthing Magazine #97 (Germany) :
“Peter Van Huffel’s GORILLA MASK – In Your Face” (Rolf Thomas)

“die urwuechsige Kraft des Free Jazz mit der Energie von brachialer Rockmusik zu kombinieren…”

25.01.2013 – Tomajazz : Bad Music Jazz by Pachi Tapiz –
“CD OF THE MONTH” – Please click here

13.01.2013 – Die Kopfhoerer (DE) – Review by Julian –
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18.01.2013 – New Review from Belgium by Jacques Prouvost
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15.01.2013 – Step Tempest Review by Richard B. Kamins
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05.01.2013 – The Freejazz Collective (by Philip Coombs) –
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January 2013 – Village Voice NY Critics Poll Listing for GORILLA MASK
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January 2013 – Jazz ‘n’ More (Switzerland) by Juerg Solothurnmann

“… Van Huffels kerniger Altoton ist dreckig und vibratoreich, und auch die Textur seines Spiels erinnert an Ayler und noch mehr an Brotzmann. Die artikulierte notenreiche Spielweise nach Steve Coleman kennt er, doch seine Improvisationen fasern meistens schnell aus in emotionelle Sounds. Den Unterschied machen die Kollegen. Fidezius zupft den Kontrabass bullig wie ein Rocker. Mit dem Bogen schafft er farbige Flaechen oder Gegenlinien und mit seiner Zusatzelektronik Hendrix/artige Uebersteuerungen…”

December 28th, 2012 – Leipziger Volkszeitung (Review)

“Ohne Umwege zielt die heftige Spassmusik des Altsaxofonisten Peter Van Huffel mitten auf die Zwoelf. Sein von Bass und Drums grundiertes Trio nimmt die Haltung Altvorderer wie Albert Ayler oder Peter Broetzmann auf und kanalisiert diese roehrende Intensitaet unterm vom Beatnik Allen Ginsberg entlehnten Titel hin zu Hard Rock und Metal…”

07.12.2012 – Victor Aaron’s Top Albums for 2012:
Whack Jazz – From Something Else! Reviews –
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CONCERTO Magazine (Austria) – Dezember / Jänner 2012

“Dass er da einigen beispielsgebenden Trios von Albert Ayler, Peter Brötzmann, Ornette Coleman, Steve Coleman oder George Garzones Fringe-Trio im Geiste der Jazz-geschichte folgt, ist ebenso zwingend, wie es letztlich immer darum geht, den Moment einzufangen, ob Live oder im Studio…”

November 5th, 2012 from Something Else! Reviews (by S. Victor Aaron)
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“Huffel and his crew, dubbed “Gorilla Mask,” bring both the Brötzmann and the Black Flag in a tidy, compact package… Huffel’s more direct, confrontational method results in a thrash-jazz record that’s more purposeful, unpredictable and just plain fun. Huffel and Gorilla Mask have created the perfect gateway drug into acoustic jazz for Henry Rollins fans.”

November 2nd, 2012 from “Touching Extremes” (by Massimo Ricci)
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“Look at that “acoustic bass & noise” following the name of Mr. Fideyius: that tells a lot about what to anticipate from Howl!, debut release of Gorilla Mask. The macho snarl of the bass / whose earthz sound, I suppose, was now and again augmented bz pedals / defines the blood-pumping propulsion of tracks like “Z” and “Dirty City”, two of the several intemperately grooving pieces of this concrete record. Van Huffel’s improvisational vision rides across the rippling vehemence with a combination of fervour and matter-or-factness, with the add-on of near-pastoral explorations of melody…”

November, 2012 – Jazzthetik Magazin – Peter Van Huffel’s GORILLA MASK – King Kong on Dope!? (by Klaus Huebner)
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October 10th, 2012 from The Stash Dauber (by Ken Shimamoto)
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“Van Huffel’s a saxophonist out of Ayler, Brotzmann, and Zorn, his sound all braying vibrato and squealing multiphonics, but he frames his improvisational forays in the context of a trio with hard rock dynamics — on the surface, just your standard post-Rollins bass ‘n’ drums, but with a penchant for repeating patterns and overlaid electronic noise elements. Further, on Howl!, they program their cataclysmic blasts in manageable chunks> the tracks average six minutes and change — a lot easier to process than, say, some of Brotzmann’s hour-long exorcisms…”

October 25th, 2012 from Titel Kulturmagazin
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“Alt-Saxophonist Peter Van Huffel’s Vision eines Trios war Jazz beheimatete Improvisation mit der Energie einer Rockband zu verbinden und damit ein Publikum anzusprechen, das nicht zwingend auf einem typischen Jazzkonzert anzutreffen ist. Das ist mit Howl! gelungen. Der Albumtitel erinnert natürlich an Allen Ginsberg’s berühmtes Gedicht, Songtitel wie Dirty City, Angry Monster oder Fucked passen dazu ganz gut…”

October 25th, 2012 from Jazz Tokyo / Five by Five
(Review by Kayo Fushiya)

FOR THE ORIGINAL JAPANESE VERSION Please click here Another very interesting album has been released from the German label “Between the Lines” which has a reputation for consistently releasing works of quality. It is by the Berlin based trio, “GORILLA MASK”, led by by Canadian reeds player Peter Van Huffel. The album was released in Germany on October 26, 2012 and is thus literally brand new.
As jazz continues to evolve, combining elements from various musical origins has become widely utilized and in Van Huffel’s music we can hear highly energetic but gracious fragments of free-improvisation, heavy metal, hard rock, folk music, and more. The music gives one the impression of being moved through an intense whirlwind.

As with every outstanding band, Gorilla Mask‘s attributes include a simplicity of melodies which are easily absorbed into consciousness, sharp strong beats which actually seem to act on the body in a physical sense, instant adaptability to incessant changes, and, of course, technical virtuosity of the instrumentalists.

Van Huffel’s sound may be reminiscent of some legendary free jazz fighters; but it incorporates a uniquely characteristic strong attack with a constantly advancing intense beat: even the slower moments do not fall into gloomy meditation or hackneyed phrase “silence” but always tacitly maintain the heart beats. Thoroughly absorbed and developed jazz idioms explode directly on rising waves of hard rock. The way that tight rock beats surge suddenly from the howl of obstinate riffs provides a very exciting aspect to the music. The band also appears very aware of the influence repetition exerts with respect to drawing in an audience. The very intensely sanguine technique holds up even in the face of apparent disorder. Although occasionally three instruments will collide violently (and what kind of explosion they provide!), a kind of wholeness of the sound is curiously maintained. Supported by highly pressured sounds and tensions, Gorilla Mask takes its audience up and down steep and tantalizing musical cliffs.

For this kind of band, it is clear that rhythm sections play a crucial role. From the beginning to the end of the album, our attention is glued on the wonderful capability of the bassist, Roland Fidezius, his astounding stamina. Not to mention the thick crafty tracing of the bass line on acoustic parts, the sophisticated drone and device usages are peculiar to the young generation that hunts for music without prejudice. Fidezius’ virtuosity could be viewed as a living “sampler”. The drummer, Rudi Fischerlehner shows an amazing flexibility as if he is coiled around the bass. His drumming surprisingly and broadly expands like an amoeba moving drastically from delicacy to boldness in an instant.?E?E?E?E?EEach of the three musicians has a distinct instigative power which directs the audience’s attention to the music’s non-technical aspects. Importantly, “groove” (let people take part in music) is a concept that does not need consideration. After having overcome any obstacles that make ”jazz” inaccessible, simple and fresh ground is carved out—-though it is also outside of technical and compositional perfections. From the audience side, it is also absurd to use phrases like “special technique” etc. We should just enjoy it!

After all, what does the band name “Gorilla Mask” signify?

Is it a lack of a substantial difference between truth and falsehood?

Or, is it the strength of “radicalness” beyond the category of biological dominance?

At least in music, groove rules supreme.