NEAPEL – Clemens Wenger (synths, piano, keys, electronics)
feat. Studio Dan Strings: Sophia Goidinger-Koch, Marianna Oczkowska (violins), Emily Stewart (viola), Maiken Beer (cello)
„You could say, Naples is an ugly, crime-ridden city of proles, with not much to offer to European intellectuals. Naples has much that is ancient, lots of culture, but nothing is snazzed up just for the sake of recalling the past, to show off what once was. This city provokes change, it surges ahead, it has an extremely loud, smelly, chaotic side to it and an incredibly beautiful, amazingly tranquil one.” (C. Wenger)
In his first solo album, Neapel, Clemens Wenger takes up a position equidistant to the sound of the Viennese Classical Period and that of the popular Viennese electronic label Affine Records. The first track immediately sets the tone for Wenger’s programme. It starts with a simple melody in the piano and strings, 24 seconds later morphing sets in, with analogue synthesizers and computer, drawing out a loop all the way to the acoustic end of the album.
At the age of 33, Clemens Wenger has amassed a densely packed track record as founder and musical director of JazzWerkstatt Wien, as member of Viennese Soul Band 5/8erl in Ehr’n, as musician/composer/label operator/festival director in bands and artist collectives around contemporary music, jazz, pop and electronica. This is how he described his work on Neapel: “I wanted to leave off any forcing and brainy manipulation, and instead find a new sound by keeping it simple.”
Ten tracks take you on a cinematic ride through the electro-acoustic landscape of Neapel, yet what you really hear is the musical essence of Vienna. Mozart and Beethoven are the starting point for this mood between major and minor, when you do not know if it makes you happy or sad. The composers of the Second Viennese School lend a presence as experimental punks of classical music. Dorian Concept supplied his studio with all its analogue synthesizers, recorded with great dedication to detail and to the craft.
In Neapel, Clemens Wenger plays with cineastic themes and recognizable melodies, whose sound comes up in ever changing forms – acoustic, electronic, distorted, sampled, original, overlaid, offset and processed into multiple sound layers. Neapel sounds like a beautiful balancing act in time and space, easy to listen to, but, “I made sure that each track has several levels to dip into.”
Neapel is an experiment that does not hurt or impose on you. Rather it feels like a dive, which is also meant to mirror what is happening in Vienna now, in decked-out halls and gloomy clubs.
JWR 02/16 | © JazzWerkstatt Records 2016
LC 05010 | EAN 9006472030195
Release: March 4, 2016
Artist: Clemens Wenger
Label: JazzWerkstatt Records
Format: CD / Digital
Distribution: Hoanzl / Ordis
Style: Electronic / Jazz
1 The Circle Games
2 Shoulder Press
3 Corona Rosa
4 On the Bund
5 Kleine Schokoladen
6 Airport Titanic
8 24 Kobe Chords
Konvoi Artist Management & Booking e.U.
Franz-Hochedlinger-Gasse 3/6, 1020 Wien
+43 650 2412 235, sebastian (at) konvoi (dot) at
all tracks composed & arranged by Clemens Wenger, except track 8 arranged by Sixtus Preiss | produced by Clemens Wenger | mixed by Clemens Wenger & Werner Angerer | mastered by Werner Angerer | co-produced by Sixtus Preiss | artwork: Karolina Preuschl | guest musicians: David Müller (acc guit) on track 6, Sixtus Preiss (drums) on tracks 3 & 6 | strings, piano, drums & guitar recorded by Robert Pavlecka (ORF RKH, Studio 2) | synthesizers, keys & electronics recorded by Clemens Wenger (Wallensteinstudio & Dorian Concept Studio)
PHOTOS + COVER (high-res / print):