The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble (TKDE) formed in 2000 as a project to compose new music for existing silent movies. Jason Köhnen and Gideon Kiers, both graduates of the Utrecht School of Arts, combined their audio and visual skills to reinterpret classic movies by F.W. Murnau (Nosferatu) and F. Lang (Metropolis). And that such an intention ends in quality should be clear from the start.
In 2004 UK trombonist Hilary Jeffery and Swiss cellist Nina Hitz joined TKDE to record this self-titled debut album which was released in May 2006. The ensuing tour saw Eelco Bosman and Paris based vocalist Charlotte Cegarra join, making the ensemble a sextet. London based violinist Sadie Anderson joined in 2008 to supply the group with extra power on stage.
Due to the vast possibilities within the band, the sound spectrum of TKDE is really hard to capture within one specific composition. Moreover, the project will lean towards various styles depending on the respective members working together at a given time. A good mix between atmosphere and technique is always the strong basis for a TKDE composition.
Live, TKDE fuse analogue and digital as much as possible. Combining traditional instrumentations (comprising cello, trombone, violin, beats, guitar, bass and vocals) with existing and/or self-developed software, continuously blending and mutating, they create an organic and electronic performance, supported by visuals which add to and interact with the frequencies of said instruments.
“Take a piece of THE CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA’s cinematic jazz, a dash of THE BROADWAY PROJECT’s dark/noir, a hint of AMON TOBIN’s twisted mutant jazz and a little FREEFORM ARKESTRA orchestral ambience. Throw in a minipinch of DJ SHADOW and MAJOR FORCE WEST, and a good dose of Planet Mu-ism and you’re pretty much there. As you might have understood by now, it’s a very versatile album.” Fans of BOHREN UND DER CLUB OF GORE should definitely be all ears as well. But since this S/t album already is a classic for a lot of people, you might already know it, too.