System for Us by Zwitschermaschine

2019 WhyPlayJazz (WPJ047), CD + MP3 Album Download

Zwitschermaschine »System for Us«

Track listing

  1. Miniatur  6:24
  2. Zustände  7:12
  3. Unisono I, II, III  10:21
  4. Kein Unisono (Intro)  1:57
  5. Kein Unisono  8:12
  6. The Dax  7:04
  7. Hocket  5:00


Mark Weschenfelder (alto saxophone, clarinet), Paul Berberich (flute), Vincent Bababoutilabo (flute, alto flute), Adrian Kleinlosen (trombone), Joachim Wespel (guitar), Andris Meinig (double bass), Florian Lauer (drums)

Production credits

All compositions by Mark Weschenfelder, except Track 7 „Hocket“: composition by Meredith Monk, adapted and arranged by Mark Weschenfelder. Recorded by Andreas Lammel at UDK, Berlin. Mixed by Andreas Lammel and Mark Weschenfelder at UDK, Berlin. Postproduction and Master by Max Trieder and Mark Weschenfelder at Studio 5, Berlin. Design and artwork by Markus Dorninger.

This debut album of Mark Weschenfelder's Zwitschermachine has an especially independent character, as Krautrock, Psychedelic, Ambient, Groove and Post-M-Base shimmer through. But it remains unmistakably unique within the onrushing flow of musical events. You hear something strange, but as you listen, the music’s mystery becomes more and more accessible – that’s part of the enjoyment!

Even free improvisation has its clichés – something that Weschenfelder steers clear of. With its drive and mysterious aural architecture, his septet music captivates and stays with the listener long after the last note has sounded. Something special propels Weschenfelder's Zwitschermaschine. Most of this intricate, intuitive music is notated. For it to properly develop, the distinctive sound of this jazz, progressive rock and new music admixture requires immense interpretative accuracy. Yet, despite all the necessary discipline, the pieces maintain their spontaneity and freshness. There is enough surface friction in this music to ensure that it is never sterile.
"System for Us" brings together seven individualists in one big, compact, collective sound, miniature solos and all. Although echoes of Steve Lehman, Henry Threadgill and Steve Coleman radiate through the music, Weschenfelders pieces are refreshingly original. The title is a reference to American composer Earle Brown’s composition "Folio and 4 Systems", and illustrates Weschenfelder’s affinity for New Music concepts. The sensuality and emotionality of jazz remain, as the composer transmits language into music by means of his own sort of international Morse code, creating patterns of short and long code-like tones. With unusual instrumentation and music on the innovative edge, this is something amazingly new, intense and forceful. This music fascinates because it’s evolution is so refreshingly ingenuous and concise.





Ein Bläsersatz mit zwei Flöten und eine Rhythmusgruppe mit Gitarre, Bass und Schlagzeug werden auf "System for Us" mal in kantige Konfrontation getrieben, zu repetitiven Patterns zusammengefügt oder zu Klangflächen verdichtet.

Klaus Nüchtern,

If Zwitschhermaschine is an indication of his mature musical concepts, then it’s obvious that [Mark Weschenfelders] skills and those of this septet should be appreciated past Germany’s borders.

Ken Waxman, Jazz Word

L’assise de l’ensemble repose sur une solide section rythmique qui positionne cette musique de création sur la belle planète du jazz d’aujourd’hui (celui qui invente et se régénère, pas l’autre !). [...] Pour autant, Zwitschermaschine affirme son identité, sa singularité.

Thierry Giard, Culture Jazz

[...] diese Zwitschemaschine macht gläserdominierten Hardcorejazz mit Progrock-Einflüssen, der sich am ehesten noch als aufnotierte Improvisation umschreiben lässt, ambitioniert, doch immer, wenn er aufgrund der Freude an der größtmöglichen Dissonanz allzu anstrengend zu werden droht, auch wieder von nachgerade magischer Suggestivkraft [...].

Victoriah Szirmai, Szirmais Fermaten/Jazzthetik

Systems for Us is compositionally rich with edge, but still swings mightily.

Joseph Neff, The Vinyl District