AMN Reviews: Schnellertollermeier – 5 (2020; Cuneiform Records)

Guitar / bass / drum trio Schnellertollermeier returns with the aptly-titled 5, which of course is their fifth album. These instrumental tracks consist of overlapping, polyrhythmic notes and chords ala 80’s King Crimson. Melodies and themes ebb and flow as each piece grows and shifts in intensity. There is a hint of psychedelia here and there, as the repetitions become trancelike. But matters get most interesting when the group colors slightly outside of these lines but putting together jagged and complex rhythms with overdubbed guitar effects and harmonics. The guitar and bass take on unusually percussive roles. All of this is presented with mechanistic tightness and precision.

Comparisons with fellow Swiss group Sonar are perhaps suitable. If you’ve appreciated Schnellertollermeier in the past, you will almost certainly enjoy 5. And if you haven’t and this description makes you curious, this album is a great introduction to the band.