Home Read Classic Album Review: Flanger | Midnight Sound

Classic Album Review: Flanger | Midnight Sound

The prolific German multi-hyphenate reinvents cool jazz for the new millennium.


This album came out back in 2001. Here’s what I said about it then (with some minor editing):


Uwe Schmidt sure gets around.

Electronica and house fans might know him as Atom Heart, Atomu Shinzo, Bi-Face or one of several other aliases he’s used over the years. Kraftwerk buffs might know him as Senor Coconut, the man behind a bizarre Latin-flavoured tribute album to the German synth gods last year. Still others might know him as the keyboard, guitar and vibraphone-playing half of acid-jazz duo Flanger. On this second full-length album, Schmidt and drummer Burnt Friedman reteam to reinvent cool jazz for the new millennium. Taking the simmering late-night grooves, smooth brushwork and glistening vibe lines of the late ’50s, Schmidt and Friedman graft on the hyperkinetic rhythms, noisy samples and paranoid-android ambience of techno, creating a sound that not only spans genres but generations. Coolest of all, perhaps, is their cover of the Miles Davis classic So What, reworked with a perfect balance of respect (authentic standup bass) and kitsch (conga drums). If Uwe gets tired of changing his identity every album, he could do a lot worse than to stick with this one.