Caspar is the new CD from 5-string double bassist Klaus Janek, an all-instrumental affair that is as dense and ominous as it is jarring and dissonant. This is solo bass music for those who like vast soundscapes and tapestries of sound, as Jenek's mixing of bowed lines and plucked flurries of notes provide an interesting contrast on most of the CD's pieces. To some this might comes across as a musician making noise while practicing in a studio, but Janek has a distinct style that sets him apart from other acoustic bass players on the scene. "Part IV" is a furious cacophony of notes, with styles such as classical, goth, and southern fried jazz all intermingled underneath the squealing high bass notes that Janek violently bows. On "Part V" , the bassist unearth's some downright creepy noises out of his instrument that you would swear was some sort of animal being slaughtered. Chilling...yes. Music, well, I guess it would depend on what your mood is. A change of pace can be heard on "Part VI-Suite" , where ominous bowed passages mingle with Janek's vocalized chants before the bassist plucks some jazzy melodic bursts much like a young Charlie Haden.
This will probably not be an easy listen if you like busy, melodic music, but if you have an interest in free-flowing, dissonant & edgy music, this might be up your alley. Klaus Janek obviously seemed to enjoy the freedom he had in making this album, but I think his best work will come when and if he fronts his own jazz or avant-garde ensemble.