THE PROGRESSIVE TRACKS SHOW #540 (“Halloween 2023”) Mike curates a scary, creepy, cringy, life-altering, disgustingly-appropriate aural feast for this season… without interruption. Get right in it and roll around a bit… PLAYLIST: Mom’s New Hobby – “In A Haunted Garden” from Ostara Noir on Forbidden Place Records (2022) [1:36] ATHAK – “Rhune VII – Ma Croix” from ATHAK […]
A fortuitous loan of a drum kit has led to a meeting and melting of minds.
Few are the musicians for whom sharing their instruments with members of other bands is a pleasure, but for Reto Mäder and Dahm Majuri Cipolla the request from the latter to the former proved fortuitous – they ended up forming the psychedelic industrial behemoth JeGong.
“I was with playing with Finnish avant-garde metal band Sum Of R on a European tour heading to the Roadburn Festival and at the same time, Dahm was playing drums with experimental music ensemble Watter, touring Europe and heading to the same festival,” recalls Mäder. “Both bands played about 18 gigs on their tours, and in two clubs we were booked on the same evening. Dahm asked me if he could use the Sum Of R drums. So, on the one hand we got talking and, on the other, it saved a lot of time for the stage change between the performing bands. In turn, we could deepen our conversation and learned about our mutual interests in Krautrock, film soundtracks and experimental music.”
And so JeGong was born. Though the band started without a specific musical objective, both musicians knew that their shared interests would create mutual sparks.
“We enjoyed so much of the same music and wanted to collaborate,” recalls Cipolla.
“It was like getting to know each other by expressing ourselves through a common, universal musical language,” expands Mäder.
Drawing on the influence of 70s German kosmische music such as Can, Faust, NEU! and others, their debut album //I// was recorded remotely during the pandemic, an experience that produced unexpected results for the pair.
“It was a challenge, but in a positive way,” remembers Mäder. “Each of us had a different environment that reflected the same music differently and one therefore also reacted more individually to it.”
JeGong’s new album, //The Complex Inbetween//, was recorded together and is a natural progression from its predecessor. As displayed by pummeling tracks such as //Former Wish//, the circular //Clear The Way// and //Come To The Center//’s motorik drive, the interaction between the pair is palpable. So what is the appeal of drones, repetition and trance states?
“Personally, it’s something like meditation,” venutes Cipolla, who has also worked with Japanese post-rockers MONO. “Sometimes it can create a blissful state that doesn’t involve much thinking.”
Mäder agrees: “I like the feeling of drifting away. It gives me a blissful feeling and an additional level of sensation from which I can perceive things differently. It’s like a temporary state of timelessness, so to speak.”
For both musicians, the creative process draws on both of their main bands as well as feeding back into them.
“The influences swing both ways,” confirms Mäder. “It’s very enriching.”
He continues: “A good example of this is that for the upcoming Sum Of R UK/EU tour. I have more joy again – and also experience – to incorporate atonal sounds at some specific moments. And within the band we define our sound more by sounds, dynamics and moods.”
JeGong are a conduit of free flowing ideas. The adventurous listener should catch their drift.
PROG INFO FILE
LINE-UP: Reto Mäder (Bass, guitar, analogue synthesizers, mellotron, effects)
Dahm Majurici Cipolla (Drums, percussion)
SOUNDS LIKE: Cosmic explorations being created in a gigantic steel factory
CURRENT RELEASE: //The Complex Inbetween// is out now on Pelagic Records
— Julian MarszalekFrom "Limelight - JeGong" Prog Issue 141 Reprinted with permission.