29/03/2023Pioneering Berlin Electronic Avant-Jazz Trio KUF Drops Dazzling Fourth Album On Macro

It was a long train ride home after an even longer night of merrymaking back in 2016. I had recently downloaded the digital version of KUF's debut album "Gold" to my notebook and decided to give it a spin. Moments later, headphones on, I was overwhelmed by this novel, vocal-led, highly emotive wall of sound. Mind racing, dopamine flowing, tears streaming down my cheeks, something had struck a nerve and the pioneering Berlin trio had made a new fan. Fast forward to the present day and KUF are back with album number four. Yes, time flies. "Yield" released last week on Stefan Goldmann and Finn Johannsen's macro imprint and you best believe, this time around, we came prepared. 

KUF are "keyboard whizz" Tom Schneider (synths/sampler), Valentin Link (on all things bass) and Hendrik Havekost (drums/percussion). Over the course of four albums, the three have no doubt revolutionised the concept of a band and flipped the script on instrumentalism, pushing the boundaries of what electronic dance music can sound like, without losing track of their signature warmth and distinct melodious timbre. Relentlessly introducing new aspects to their unique mix, the group has an undeniable knack and talent for playfully deconstructing and reassembling each track with the greatest of ease. As such, their approach is very much work in progress and not bound by principles. 

Drawing from inspired jam sessions, mind-melding chemistry and, let's face it, raw genius, "Yield" sees KUF put on another dazzling display of multi-layered perfection, skilfully brought to fruition at the mixing desk: "A sampler's cut-up capabilities triggered by frisky fingers. Persistent bass. Adamant drums. Rough soul, intertwined by improvised outbursts and shaped with the aesthetics of raw MPC-based chunky techno," joining forces to create "twelve slices of hyper-integrated real-time magic." Serving up a sublime selection of sapiosexual avant-jazz goodness, KUF have done it again. Smile on my face, head nodding like a bobblehead doll, I feel this uncontrollable yet familiar urge to dance my dance.

Stream the full album and watch the animated companion video to “Patterns” by NYC-based artist Yoshi Sodeoka below.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom