Le Cinque Stagnoni
(2019 - Toten Schwan Records - Italy)
A very tribal, deep spiritual journey, otherworldly improvisation of treated bass guitar and effects (by Anton Efimov - a leading scientist in a bionanotechnology lab, as well as musician); drums and saxophone (by Evgenia Sivkova - who is working on her PhD in astrophysics) ; and bass clarinet, sax, & bass domra [a 4 string Russian folk instrument] (by Edward Sivkov - Evgenia's father, who has played on some previous Der Finger albums, and is a free jazz and avant-garde saxophonist). Both Anton and Evgenia graduated from Moscow Institute of Physics. From Russia, usually a duo, they sometimes bring in Edward, especially on live concerts. Der Finger (The Finger) have over 20 releases (including EP, live, studio) so far, and each has a concept and abundance of thought behind it.
The music on 'Le Cinque Stagnoni' was totally improvised and done live in the studio with no overdubs (same way all their recordings are performed). You will find some of it with characteristics of the Krautrock styles that explore multiple dimensions. The 5 pieces of music are based on the five seasons of 'Iluminati Calendar', talked about in Robert Anton Wilson novels 'Iluminatus' (the trilogy). The titles are the German names of these five seasons, each consisting of 73 days, which represent all of the natural and unnatural occurrences that went on in these cycles.
The compositions faithfully illustrate the possibilities with the changing seasons, mother nature and all the beauty, but also the chaos and destruction. Some passages are exotic and electro-ethnic, while other parts are groove oriented. Just when you think the song has a stability, it can change and go another place. Some influences can be related to the industrial movement (the band has worked with Nick Soudnick of ZGA, who was famous for part of the inception of this type music back in the 1980's), the ambient and the world trance, plus the experimental jazz world.
Der Finger were formerly playing in a drone jazz band called Wrist. Touches of this still remain (think The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, and their other incarnation, The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation). The special element of movement and taking the audience on a long but divided journey, is the attraction to Der Finger 'Le Cinque Stagnoni'. Ethno tunnel transportation with varied bass use, lots of percussion and sequences, and a free jazz wind creator; the sound stays thick, unpredictable, and full of life. That is the end result. The scientific mind, making concepts into musical experiences. For the ones who want a head trip, this is a grand specimen.
©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 6 - 15 - 2019