Label für gegenwärtige Musik

hotelgäste: flowers you can eat

This trio (…) presents a kind of more humane and warm improvisation, which makes this one of the most enjoyable works in the field of free-form music that I've listened to lately. The trio's interaction is quite typically based on the juxtaposition of microscopic, pebble-like fragments and restrained gestures ("Kein stern", "Moto"), but also on a fuller, more droning mass of sound, thanks to the use of e-bows and sustained wind playing. This gives birth to remarkable pieces like "Wintermusik", "Shiny" or the tour-de-force of "Sleepy lady", easily the most captivating track of the cd, where a jangling guitar, a discreet bass and what sounds like (but is probably not) looped electronics, create a wonderful suspended soundscape. In its cohesiveness and variety of inputs, this is a cd to be listened to many times.
Eugenio Maggi in Chain D.L.K. (Italy)

(…) Since the very first moments a mechanism of continuous emission is set up by the musicians, who remain within the limits of slightly powered microsounds alimented by organic composites of acoustic and electronic means, filling every space with an unobtrusive spreading of colours deriving from the AMM/Morphogenesis palette. In this sense, "Sleepy Lady" - not coincidentally the longest track - is the most involving segment, developing its motory force gradually yet incessantly, in an amorphous deprivation of aural breath where the deep resonance of Thieke's reed accompanies Bennett and Shirley in an infinite try to raise their heads out of the poisoned waters of pseudo-industrial loops. (…) A flash of truly great interaction is "Wintermusic", in which Shirley's bass arcoes a hole in the ground for levity to be buried in, while Thieke and Bennett throw dirt through their playing in a commemorative gesture, all faces pointing to the crumbling ground under their feet.
Massimo Ricci in Touching Extremes (Italy)

Es lebe die deutsch-kanadische Freundschaft. Diese dritte Veröffentlichung des Berliner Schraum-Labels zeichnet aus, was an Ensembles wie der Austriaisch-kanadischen Freundschaft namens Trapist so gefällt: ruhiges, konzentriertes Klingen, lieber ein Ton zuwenig als einer zuviel, Verzicht auf "Action", Beharrlichkeit anstelle eines Spektakels, aber vorwärts drängend, bohrend. Der Satz "Mami, Mami, er hat gar nicht gebohrt!" wäre hier nicht angebracht. Diese "essbaren Blumen" stehen stellvertretend für Musik, die eine/n gefangennimmt und freilässt zugleich bzw. alles zu seiner/ihrer Zeit. Fazit: Solche Hotelgäste kann man sich nur wünschen.
Andreas Fellinger in Freistil (Austria)

Das Berliner Trio spielt improvisierte Musik, die sich doch über weite Strecken nicht nach konventioneller Improvisation anhört. (...) Die Musik der Hotelgäste lebt von Zurückgenommenheit. Klanganballungen bleiben meist abstrakt, die Instrumente häufig nicht mehr identifizierbar. Mit einem klassischen Einsatz von Blasinstrumenten hat Thiekes Spiel nur noch wenig zu tun, so wie auch die verdichteten Momente, die auf lange Ruhephasen folgen, kaum mehr den Freejazz beerben. Die Erkundung von Geräusch und das Ausweiten der Klangsprache über den konventionellen Gebrauch der Instrumente hinaus, knüpft eher an die Tradition von AMM oder Derek Bailey an, stellenweise aber auch den Minimalismus von Künstlern aus dem Staalplaat-Kontext.
Martin Büsser in testcard (Germany)

Cool. These guys make use of guitar, bass, Clarinet, alt-saxophone, and zither to create a dreamy textured semi-minimal dabble into madness. This sounds like freeform improvisation, but it has a denser and more serious feel than most bands of their ilk. It's all still very abstract and unstructured, but there is an underlying tone here which is a bit gloomy. I kind of picture a dark foggy haunted lighthouse when I listen to this. I find this CD very interesting to explore with the eyes closed and the mind wide open. This sound conjures. To be able to do that off the cuff is a pretty tall demand. It is pretty impressive when a band succeeds. This band succeeds. That's why Hotelgaste keeps my attention when many other improvisation groups only keep me for 1-2 listens.
Neo-Zine (USA)

(…) The density they mention is surely an important factor in their music, as in each of the six tracks the music is close together. Maybe Hotelgäste set upon an atmosphere, or perhaps a sort of sound, in which they want each player to sound alike. This tight knitting of sounds is not as silent as some of the other current improvisers, and also the treatment of their instruments as objects is not as close as some of the current players in the scene, but it's remotely away from regular playing of the instruments, i.e. it's somewhat harder to recognize the origins of each instruments. This makes this CD into quite a pleasure to hear: improvised enough, but also a bit composed, played freely among tight plans, crossing the boundaries of old and new improvisation. Quite nice!
Frans de Waard in Vital Weekly (Netherlands)

Das kanadisch-deutsche Trio mit der durchaus konventionellen Besetzung Gitarre, Bass und Klarinette/Sax (sowie Zither als kleines exotisches Schmankerl) und dem dafür aber unstrittig gekonnt gewähltem Bandnamen kreiert auf seinem Debut etwas, das im Info so treffend wie schön "Momentmusik" genannt wird. Böse Zungen würden die essbaren Blumen wohl unter "eine knappe Dreiviertelstunde Gefrickel" verbuchen, täten damit aber dem konzentrierten Spiel der drei genauso Unrecht wie derem einfallsreichen Musikkonzept. Improvisierte Musik sollte auf einem soliden Fundament aus Erfahrung, Können und Flexibilität (sowie Bescheidenheit) ruhen - die Hotelgäste verfügen über all dies in hinreichendem Maße. Guten Appetit!
Karsten Zimalla in Westzeit (Germany)

This sensitive and well-executed set of six improvisations comes courtesy of Michael Thieke, Dave Bennett and Derek Shirley. (…) While there's very little silence on offer, the music still moves at the sedate pace associated with lowercase, which gives the impression that the shorter tracks are extracts from (or sketches for) longer works. Consequently, "Sleepy Lady", the longest track by far at 13'46", is the most convincing piece of the set, showing what the musicians are capable of when they stretch out. Especially Thieke, who has little inclination to show off his repertoire of extended techniques, preferring to concentrate on sustained tones.
Dan Warburton in Paris Transatlantic (France)

A play of reciprocal influences in constant metamorphosis, taking silence as starting point, defines its boundaries time and again through careful listening. Miking and extended techniques propose a process of linguistic abstraction, complementarily phrased and biased towards horizontal, static stances where apparent permanence turns out deceptive.
Modisti (Spain)

(…) The nearly 14-minute "Sleepy Lady", for instance, seems to float on an unexpected convergence of finger-picked Mississippi blues lines, the hiss of reed-expelled colored air, and near ring-modulator clanging. As the picking becomes more regularized, it nearly vanishes into rubbed oscillations, clicking pulses, and curved squeals. Transmogrified into rumbles and buzzes, intermittent flattement and irregular vibrato from Thieke's reed mark time with low flutters and interference rumbles form the stringed instruments. Before Shirley rubs crackles from his strings, snickering reed timbres introduce the steady echo of what sounds like a draining car motor. Eventually the mushrooming drone is superseded by electronically produced thumps that dissolve into silence. With the reedist also listed as playing zither, these additional string textures may add to the ruffled and rumbled pulsations that characterize the session. Bennett adds to them by rasping his six-strings below the bridge and banging his fretting hand on the neck as clarinet and arco bass harmonize. Yet among the crescendo of hissing amp timbres and resonant bass pitches, insect-like reed squeaks, or colored noise clicks confirm that Thieke remains engaged enough to contribute specific textures. (…)
Ken Waxman in One Final Note (USA)

(…) The music, however, does make an occasional radical turn to become boisterous when the volume rises to cacophonous heights and all three voices are seemingly crying out in spiritual fashion. These moments are fleeting; the trio always finds safe haven in the understated world of creative expression. Passages of near silence also dot the program, giving it an introspective feel as each musician pauses to contemplate the right form of sound to be inserted next. The overall ambiance is somewhat disrupted on "Sleepy Lady," a lengthy cut where Thieke plucks repetitively in flowing motion on the zither to produce a sound emulating electronic code. This action causes a stir in the somnambular state and raises the level of excitement several degrees. The pulsating high-pitched drone continues throughout the piece while statical strings overlay the activity. Hotelgäste offers a performance built on sheerness and transparency that can have a hypnotic impact if one allows the seduction process to proceed unabated.
Frank Rubolino in Cadence Magazine (USA)