Saturday, September 05, 2015
Reviewing audio books / audio dramas ain't easy. That's for sure. And as a music writer one doesn't come across this format often as labels and record companies usually don't feel the need to branch out into these territories. But - yeah, life... - there's always an exception from the norm which is, as regular readers of these pages might have guessed already, the German imprint Major Label which has built a great rep for releasing both extrordinary music and remarkable audio dramas. The newest one, produced by Kai Uwe Kohlschmidt and released on September 4th, 2015, deals with the history of the small village Jamel located in the Niederlausitz area of Germany throughout the past century, a history that incorporates early episodes as paradisiac, idyllic home to a colony of artists, dark years hosting a concentration camp, with barracks later used by the Russian army that transformed the area formerly used by the nazi regime into an artillery range. As time goes by Jamlitz sees the now divided post-Hitler Germany evolve, the wall comes down and nowadays the Jamlitz train station which has played an essential role throughout the century that has passed has become a social rehabilitation center for lost and broken souls and street kids from all over Germany, a center which has initialized the production of "Im Wald Und Auf Der Heide: Die Schicksale Des Dorfes Jamlitz" - a fascinating journey through history that uses cut-up and audio collage techniques, combined with several narrators and, most importantly, original quotations and audio samples from those, who've lived, worked or suffered in and around Jamlitz at some point of their lives. Recommended.