Jazzfestival Salzburg - Elisabethbühne - Salzburger Nachrichten
... a group with a future, who exel at combining jazzy improvisations in the
vein of World Saxophon Quartet with stunningly well-timed interpretations of
Jazzfest Wien - News
... four Austrian idealists have founded melo X. The sisters Nicole and Gabriele
Riegler, Arne Marsel and Herbert Mraz produce a highly individual sound. A
courageous tightrope dance between traditional patterns and pure improvisation.
... they compelled with effective, archaic sounding reed arrangements. Melodies
turning on themselves, fierce turkish-style dances, world music without a map.
Four saxophones and live-electronics present a program of ethno-influenced
arrangements and original compositions. Somewhere between Jazz, Rock and
more classical music, folk pieces from many different countries get a kick that
propels them out of their historic lethargy into the present. An evening of quiet
melodies and rolling rhythms.
melo X was the most innovative formation of this year competition.
Two male and two female saxophonists, together with drums,
electric bass and sample-playbacks play funky - tecno ethnomusic
with african and minimal music elements.
CD "in futura minima" - Salzburger Nachrichten
There isn`t a shortage of saxophone quartets. In Jazz alone there are ROVA,
29th Street Saxophone Quartet and the World Saxophone Quartet, who have
become well known with their own specified repertory and anindependent
musical profile. Recently an Austrian group has joined this illustrious circle.
Melo X Saxophonquartet was founded by four idealists. They meet at the
border between noted and improvised music to try everything except a
definition of teir style. Two sisters and two men make up melo X:
Arne Marsel from Ljubjana, soprano, Nicole and Gabriele Riegler from
Styria at alto and tenor respectively and Herbert Mraz from Klagenfurt,
baritone. Their first CD "in futura minima" produced according to the
covertext with "a licence to Grammeln", is meant as a musical pilot baloon
changing direction ever so often. The willful adaption of Bulgarian
folksong alternates with the band`s own as well as comissioned compositions,
like Christian schedelmayers attractively sparse "live times 1994", or Fritz Keils
"mund-art-madrigal", that is just as strange as it is enjoyable. An idiosyncratec
bonusare Reinhard Buchta`s electronic sounds that he mixes in to make the
musical journy even more deverting.
CD „do“ - Sound/Check – Los Angelos – Martin Wisckol
World Beat – melo X
Imagine Laurie Anderson with the original Zap Mama, throw in a sax quartet and you`ll be close. melo X`s Vienna-based core is a sax foursome plus drummer. But the five introduce so many elements into this debut of their 21st-century ear candy that it`s easy to lose track of who`s leading whom.
Most of the nine cuts are built on samples of unlikely musics: Pygmy chants, Tuvan throat singing, Inuit whale song, Gabon fertility ritual, what-have-you. The magic begins with the playful integration of this exotica: The four-part harmony of a Laotian khen – a bamboo mouth organ – is picked up by the sax quartet, elsewhere the bass line of a Tibetan chant transforms into a funky ostinato played by baritone sax.
It`s a seductive journey, unfolding with unexpected delights. There`s a recitation of a man drowning in surrealistic environs, clips od Neil Amstrong`s words as he approached the moon, and the rustling of hedgehogs in the rain.
Guest singers, often handling wordless vocals, contribute to the human quality of the sound, while a small brigade of guest instrumentalists brings judicious touches of bass, synth, guitar and cello. Beats abound, with allusions to techo and drum`n`bass, but there is a space, breath and grace that is often lost in those genres. There`s an over-guiding, infectious sense of swing and pace that looks beyond category to a nascent future-pop.The stylistic plundering is boundless, yet there is a certainty and balance to the subsequent braiding that results in a distinctive, cohensive whole.
CD „do“ - sticks magazin
a model of sound aesthetic appears here as an audiophile event with a world of sound images from drum’n’bass, chamber music-like sounds and ethnosounds to vocal samples of tibetan monks. this is not an experiment, but instead a music artistically designed for demanding ears. the sequences which sometimes remind of film music spurt out like a fountain of ideas which makes elements of acoustic jazz and processing effects appear simultaneously as if by magic. the first album called “do” from the project melo X presents visionary glimpses and binds the “foreign musics” in a exciting meeting.
drummer, percussionist and composer (plus vocal-artist) mario lackner provides dry grooves, sometimes hip, sometimes funky, in a world of sounds which sometimes gives the feeling of infinite space. as the histories of various culture get to the ears, the traditional blinkers are of no use, since the listener always finds a new impulse and relates to several captivating and bizarre dramas.
CD „do“ - zürcher zeitung
samples of the whole world.
the last cd of the first launch from quinton presents an unusual type of world-music. the drum’n’sax quartet melo x presents its dancing grooves made of samples of the whole world. we thus hear music from laos, tuva, gabon and tibet. the superimposition, sometimes completed by live-musicians like tuva singer sainkho namtchylak or saxophonist wolfgang puschnig are not always compatible with the original model but melo x never dissolves itself into a lovely generic music, which is too often a characteristic of the so-called world-music.
CD „do“ - falter
on its album “do”, melo X combines sounds from all around the world (and from the moon: neil armstrong’s voice meets a pygmy-choir). if you enjoy associations of contemporary grooves with percussive saxophone phrases, sounds from the jungle and other sound exoticism, this album will be worth its price.
exo-phobic should refrain.
CD „do“ - bestseller – hans kulisch
this project is designed for the specialist who equally loves jazz and world-music. arne marsel and his companions have produced, under the motto, “drum’n’sax”, an album which integrates rap from mongolia as well as tibetan songs in a unique way. fascinating!
CD „do“ - hessicher rundfunk: jazz now! (guenter hottmann)
„drum’n’sax“ comes, according to some research, from melo X. this is the name of an ensemble, based in austria, which would actually rather belong to a big pot called “world music” if it weren’t from these pretty melodies of the saxophones over the grooves in ostinato. lines performed by the saxophones and nicely disposed in layers, sometimes spread out and quite original… this does not only belongs to jazz but also to world-music, no longer thrown in a pot with any sauce.
CD „do“ - folker!
what is presented here is world-music in its more precious definition. you have samples combined with elements of fusion jazz, an energetic drums meets traditional singing, technobeats fly over continents, sometimes land in Tuva, sometimes within the Inuit. from this, the saxophone builds a whole made of completely different elements making a harmonic album. “do” sounds very occidental and differentiates itself from the usual world-music production, which tries very conceivably to preserve the authenticity of its influences. the album seems made of a single casting and produces a new style without recognisable roots even though the roots are always detectable.
the artwork is as loveable and contemporary as the compositions. those with a special interest for the modern phrases played by wind instruments will appreciate this new release. sax-fans will get with this album a piece of jewellery which assumedly will take a particular space within their cd collection (especially considering the bigger-than-usual size of the packaging).
CD „do“ - westfällische rundschau
melo X demonstrates that a synthesiser doesn’t have to sound synthetic. the quintet mixes electronic with acoustic sounds made from rarely heard instruments… What melo X and co. has achieved with this trip-hop album “do” after four year of work is pointing toward the future.