Review on «Phantom Power Music Blog»

By Taylor Williams, Nashville 21. 2. 2022

Grützi mitenand, es ist fast Zeit für Fasnacht! It’s true, unfortunately I won’t be back in Luzern anytime soon to tear it up downtown like the good ole’ days. Thankfully, there’s this wicked band I found from Zurich that will hold me over until I return.
If you’ve never been to Switzerland (CH), think about this for a moment. Consider growing up in a country with four national languages, surrounded by three cultural powerhouses, where space is limited and privacy is a premium. They pride themselves not just on their neutrality, but their efficiency and creativity as well. Unmatched natural beauty, infrastructure that runs like a clock (literally), and a beautiful blend of French, Italian, German and world culture. There’s very few places like it in the world, and the art is a reflection of that. I’ve been fortunate enough to spend about six months in CH – and it has made a lasting impression on me. If you don’t think a country can be as precise as it is flagrantly artistic, then you’ve never been to CH.
This band is based in Zurich and consists of four primary members – Kriz Flueler (trumpet, loops, effects), Julien Boss (keys), Jean-Pierre Schaller (bass) and Andy Brugger(drums). Not surprisingly, they are all seasoned session players in CH, and most of them are instructors. Their bio’s read just like any of the top session players from any major city around the world – A list players, great gigs, and session after session after session. For this track, “Wizard Wisdom,” they also added some spoken word from Julio Mwansa Nkowane, (aka ROOTWORDS), an artist “lyricist” from the US who has been working and performing in Switzerland and France since 2012. It comes off their recent release of the same name – here’s our review.
Track starts off with an ambient and delayed trumpet riff over top of bed of simple patches in a minor, and spoken word from ROOTWORDS. Tough to say where it could go from here, it’s very chill and reflective – lyrics are descriptive but open ended, a series of compelling images. Then, JP and Andy drop in on a groove in 7/4 that is pure pocket and groove. Beautiful playing from both of them. Love JP’s tone and Andy’s groove, and the mix is gorgeous. In the back, there’s a mix of loops and effects – I can’t tell if it’s Kriz or Julien, but it doesn’t matter – I love an odd tempo groove and that’s where my focus is, especially the accents on the 7th beat.
After that intro and initial groove, we get the head – the A section – where the trumpet riff comes back over top the groove. Great melodies don’t have to be complicated – this is a perfect example of that. It’s a nice phrase of intervals, and Kriz has some solid tone. The backgrounds add some gorgeous layers, but don’t get them confused with the bed that Julien is laying down. The B section switches to the relative major and is a bit more complicated, with a lovely lift and progression and it’s end to bring us back to the A section. I’d love to see the chart.
ROOTWORDS comes back in for another spoken word section, and it really fits in nicely. This time around it’s much longer – a full verse and stanza that lasts for the better part of minute. So far, they’ve hit on soul, r&b, jazz, and trip hop – and it absolutely works. Remember what I said above about Swiss precision? Case in point, right here. This damn track is absolutely surgical. They don’t take up too much space with their individual parts, and they leave plenty of room for composition to grow.
As the spoken word comes to a close, we get dueling trumpet solos and arpeggiated keyboard work that makes me think Pete Townsend smoked a bunch of weed, programmed an ARP2500 and secretly slipped the track to these guys. 😉 Absolutely love it – put your cans on for the full effect. With the end of this section, we go back to that B section again (the complicated chorus, I’ll call it) with a much more spirited performance. And I must say, whoever’s idea it was to lay down those tritone hits starting at 4:13 – bless you, that’s genius.
This takes us to an outro jam with a variation on the A section with more developed instrumentation, a series of pulsing hits that make you forget it’s all in seven, and an arpeggiator that fades out. Absolutely lovely track, fellas, so gut, so schön. It was written by JP and ROOTSWORD, produced by Kriz, and tracked at Klangfaktur and mastered by Dan Suter.
Make sure you scroll down to catch their socials and check out their other tracks. “Beromünster” comes at you like Tower of Power with Dave Weckl, then goes acid trip – love it. Funny, I never thought of the Lucerne area that way. “Lazy Day” might be my favorite – love the chord progression and groove. Great work Wolkenpark, I hope to see this live someday!


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Review by «Os Garotos de Liverpool»

By Linna Santiago

É um projeto que aparece por aquio com um trabalho revelado nas plataformas de streaming recentemente e que iremos falar mais sobre abaixo.

Lançado durante a primeira quinzena de Dezembro/22, “Wizard Wisdom” é um EP que entrega para o público sete faixas, quase 35min de duração e uma sonoridade totalmente instrumental, passando por vertentes e estilos como o jazz, ambiente/lounge, além de elementos do rap/hip-hop e toda a atmosfera das big bands e groove do funk tradicional.

Sendo um quarteto de bastante precisão, eles fazem uma mistura sonora atraente, e definitivamente única, ao longo de toda a extensão desse trabalho muito bem produzido e executado.

Confira esse trabalho de maneira completa abaixo:


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Review on «Illustrate Magazine»

By Damien Reid

The influence of jazz is positively felt throughout the music biz. Our artists today create spectacular works of art that are equally inspiring and creative. Wolkenpark’s seven-piece album “Wizard Wisdom” definitely strikes a groove with its instrumental diversity. Through the inclusion of delightful basslines and a soothing trumpet at the helm, the musicians give us a breathtaking performance worth hearing on repeat.

Initiating the album with “Lazy Day” felt like a fresh start. The ensemble brings together a gripping tempo where a funky bass takes charge, and side-by-side a drummer’s dexterity is displayed. Aside from that, an enchanting trumpet keeps us hooked on its melody. The album’s title track is simply stunning. It’s a jaw-dropping combination of free jazz, and quite surprisingly hip hop! I was completely taken aback when the rap sections began and equally enticed when a fire bassline was in effect. The artists’ choice of song titles lived up to its essence, ‘cause there was some musical wizardry taking place I’ll tell you that much.

“Move on for Real” is jazz drumming at its peak. There’s so much work going on in this piece that will absolutely dazzle an audience. Kinda wish I saw the live performance! Especially the ending solos where the drummer goes full beast mode. With that being said, we move on to the album’s exit “Standing Back.” A beautiful melody that captures the expression of blues and slow jazz, befitting a strong conclusion.


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Review on «Indie Dock Music Blog»

By Vitali

The Swiss quartet Wolkenpark presented their debut album called ‘Wizard Wisdom’. The release took place at the end of last year, which allowed us to feel the full force of the musical insight and talent of this band. 

Wolkenpark is formed by 4 like-minded musicians who have an amazing experience of performing on stages of different levels. The record ‘Wizard Wisdom’ consists of seven tracks that are performed live and have elements of trip-hop, funk and jazz in its various manifestations.  

It is mostly instrumental music and only two tracks out of seven feature a guest rap artist ROOTWORDS, who added profound recitation with wise views. The rhythm section of the Wolkenpark band is a real rhythm machine, in which bass lines in groovy forms intersect with frantic drums. Elegantly trumpet and the Rhodes piano add to that magical power that amazes with its organicity and imagination.  

Listen to the album ‘Wizard Wisdom’ below on Spotify and immerse yourself in this celebration of real live music brought to us by the fantastic Wolkenpark. (13. 2. 2023)


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