The Boosh.Zone

Bohren & der Club of Gore - Patchatoulli Blue (2020)

January 25, 2020

Bohren & der Club of Gore - Patchatoulli Blue (2020)

Bohren & der Club of Gore are back with their most defined and cathartic release since 2002’s Black Earth. While the atmosphere isn’t as foreboding as Black Earth’s crushing delivery, the resulting space allotted allows for some of the most intentional and moving compositions the group has ever put out. The mood developed from the cool electric piano, smooth saxaphone, and almost non-existent drumming is a near-perfect approximation Film Noir in audio form. Granted that has been Dark Jazz’ stylistic marker and Bohren & der Club of Gore are the undisputed kings of performing it, but this release seems to just nail the atmosphere in a way unlike their others.

The title track excellently displays the vision and execution of the album. The absence of direct playing allows for the reverb to come into its own and gives the solos much more impact. With the guitar and saxophone each having their turn, they both come together at the closing of the piece; Resulting in giving me goosebumps every single time I have listened. With an oscillating and spacy synth in the background and slinky guitar passages, all I can think of is “mystery”. Speaking of the synth, one of my favorite aspects of this album is the incorporation of more synthetic elements. Synth-work here is definitely light but is a perfect atmosphere builder. Even the track “Vergessen & Vorbei” incorporate a drum machine. The combination of the standard Dark Jazz sound with these new elements invokes an amazing dream-like state. While much of their sound has generally been very Twin Peaks, I can’t help but think that his meshes influences from the world of X-Files. Easily my favorite track is the closer, “Meine Welt ist schön”. The dynamic between the organ and saxophone creates a dominating tension. Every note just “feels” perfect, though to the groups credit that’s the case with the entire album.

I am in absolute love with this album. While some people may long for the heaviness of Black Earth or the guitar twanginess of Gore Motel, this hits the sweet spot of dark and dreamy ambiance. More than anything, I feel like by the end of the album a “good ending” has been reached. The resolution reached truly is cathartic. This may be too smooth for some people, but I think this was a direction worth going in for Bohren & der club of Gore. While the Dark Jazz sound is definitely a niche one, this result here is easily one of the most accessible and refined of the genre.

4.5/5