Album: Otis Sandsjö & Niklas Wandt – Compagni di Merende

German DJ, drummer, producer and radio host Niklas Wandt made his debut in 2013 with a limited edition CD-R release, This Most Lonely Act Of Love (Drum Solos). A key figure in everything wild coming out of Berlin these days, he is the leader of German indie-pop band Neuzeitliche Bodenbeläge. He has also collaborated with Jan Schulte, aka Wolf Müller and Sascha Funke, on several projects.

His latest release sees Wandt team up with Berlin-based Swedish saxophonist Otis Sandsjö for a free-jazz album via Kryptox.

Sandsjö, from Gothenburg, Sweden, is known for his contributions to Lucia Cadotsch’s globe-trotting trio Speak Low, and Petter Eldh’s explosive group Koma Saxo, which just released one of this year’s most impressive albums, ‘Koma West’ for We Jazz.

Their first encounter was at the now-defunct bar in Neukölln that had improvised concerts almost every night of the week. The intensity of Sandsjö’s playing caught Wandt’s attention instantly when he saw him playing with Liz Kosack and Dan Peter Sundland. As an improviser, Wandt says he “always sensed a particularly strong connection with saxophonists, specifically tenorists”.

This musical union can be seen as a natural outcome of both artists’ music flourishing in that beautiful space where genres blend. With a wide range of influences sprinkled over their work, from experimental electronic, dub to balearic to free jazz, it isn’t difficult to see how they became one.

Moody, experimental and expressive soundscapes, the music is joyfully improvised yet structured in a way that’s easily accessible to listeners. ‘Invevat’ and ‘Lingua’ are instant favourites, while ‘Furnacella’ shows off the wide range of their impressive talents.

Many talented musicians and artists are coming through the Berlin jazz scene, and these two stand out.

CF Smith

Permeating your ears with good music.

Leave a Reply