The Minibus Pimps (aka John Paul Jones, Helge Sten, and a minibus’ worth of electronics, instruments, iPads, and two Kyma/Pacaranas), will be performing at the Alte Feuerwache in Mannheim on Monday November 14, 2011 at 8 pm as part of the Enjoy Jazz 13th International Festival for Jazz and More.

Photo by Alf S Solbakken

To paraphrase from Michael Engelbrecht Abgelegt‘s review of the duo’s debut performance at Punkt (the original is written in German and is roughly translated here):

Unique lighting choreography outlined the duo like spirit figures in an Asian shadow-puppet play.  To old-timers, the music of the duo evokes Led Zeppelin, “Metal Machine Music” and “Walk on the Wild Side”. The two made use of “Kyma”, a computer music language, to quickly create sound algorithms no one has never heard before.

I have rarely in my life, under live conditions, experienced such a clearly contoured, perfectly staged dramatic Noise as one piece of music. Noise, yeah, noise! Much as one might expect from an old pioneer of the avant-garde, but this is by Helge Sten and the ex-Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, a man with new ideas exploring new technologies.

This was not a soulless demonstration of a computer program: sounds were unleashed, the old tendencies of experimental rock music and “drone music” were picked up and catapulted into the year 2011. What a poignant ‘wall of sound ‘!

Twice the duo kindled a violent storm (gale force 13).  Those who did not take flight witnessed the way the noise textures become strangely melodic. A worthy finale (no guitars are burned these days but a few wild spirits are lured from machines) – the last concert on the big stage of Agden theater!

Helge Sten seemed to be remembering his “dark ambient” work as “Deathprod”. John Paul Jones seemed to tap into the wild energy of an older time without falling into the nostalgia trap.  Was it Neil Young who said, “It is better to burn out than to fade away”?

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