Anchor & Burden -
Kosmonautik Pilgrimage

(CD 2023, 64:25, Moonjune Records)

The tracks:
Sublevel Cells:
         1: Part I - Corridors Of Silent Screams(9:05)
         2: Part II - Celebral Transfixations(6:48)
Radion Crater Exploration
         3: Part 1 - Hissing Skin(7:11)
         4: Part II - The Core is Organic(4:41)
         5: Part III - Shivering Walls(7:48)
         6: Part IV - Self Assembly(6:26)
  7: Secret Laboratory(8:52)
Splinters Of Glory
         8: Part I - Royal Augmentation(7:05)
         9: Part II - Crown Hive(6:29)


Anchor & Burden is a quartet that has been active since autumn 2021 and was founded by Markus Reuter (touch guitar) and Bernhard Wöstheinrich (keyboards). Both were previously active as a duo under the name Centrozoon, are or were involved in a number of other projects; Markus Reuter, for example, with Stick Men, Bernhard Wöstheinrich with Ornah-Mental. The band furthermore consists of Alexander Paul Dowerk, who, like Markus Reuter, plays the touch guitar, and Germany-based drummer Asaf Sirkis, who replaced Shawn Crowder in 2022 because he moved back to the US.

Markus Reuter sees the Anchor & Burden project as the continuation of the experimental duo Centrozoon, using the means available to a quartet with drums and two touch guitars. In other words, Anchor & Burden want to show what a progressive band playing live in the studio is capable of.

After five download-only albums, Kosmonautik Pilgrimage, released in early 2023, is the quartet's first physical release thanks to Leonardo Pavkovic's MoonJune Records

The music on Kosmonautik Pilgrimage has its very own character. Sure the influences of King Crimson are notable. Albums such as Thrak and The ConstruKction Of Light. But also the albums made by ProjeKcts come to mind. However the quartet's completely improvised and instrumental music, dominated by the diverse sounds of the touch guitar, sounds rougher and more edgy, sometimes downright dismissive, consistently avoiding common ideas of melody and rhythm; nevertheless, it doesn't come across as completely abstract, but rather shows itself as a kind of meandering, bubbling flow of sound that meanders strangely,
in which the aggressive guitar sound is often cutting and sawing,

The sometimes dense interaction of the two touch guitarists makes the music of this band of course very original and therefore difficult to label. Of course the guitar playing is sometimes influenced by Robert Fripp and sounds like improvisations by King Crimson or ProjeKcts. But here the comparison ends and you just step into a world which is not acceptable for every human being and most of all enjoyable. A few listening sessions are certainly needed to step into the world of Anchor & Burden. I will not go any deeper into the songs available and I dare you to have a listen yourself.

Mainly for fans of instrumental music inspired by King Crimson. They should not miss Anchor & Burden! If you appreciate or are looking for a modern, mathematically edgy post-crimson instrumental prog, you've come to the right place with Kosmonautik Pilgrimage.

*** Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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