How Long Is Now? Unplugged Live In Berlin

How Long Is Now?

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Dissidenten – How Long Is Now? Unplugged live in Berlin

The Dissidenten are once again cooking, but this time without electricity – performing vibrant unplugged versions of their greatest hits, supported by musical fellow-travellers from present and past, recorded on the banks of Berlin’s River Spree.

Since their early days in Berlin, the trio (Uve Müllrich, Friedo Josch and Marlon Klein) has won a global audience for its genre-defying worldwide concerts and projects. Among their famous fans are those other legendary genre-benders, David Byrne and Brian Eno, along with hip-hop guru MadLib and Maxi Jazz from Faithless.

In 2012 the Dissidenten received Germany’s prestigious International Praetorius Music Peace Award. They were asked to put together an acoustic live set for the occasion, taking a retrospective look back over the band’s unique history.

This unplugged set presented an unexplored perspective of the Dissidenten, and was performed during a subsequent German tour. On the final date, they recorded a spontaneous concert for friends on the banks of Berlin’s River Spree. How Long is Now? documents the evening.

The central trio was supported by illustrious guests from early and recent days. Tamil singer Manickam Yogeswaran, the Moroccans Noujoum Ouazza and Mennana Ennaoui on mandolin-cello and vocals, oud/guitar player Roman Bunka and hurdy-gurdy specialists Elke Rogge and Till Uhlmann all lent a helping hand.
In comparison to their last album, the edgy, hard-rocking Tanger Sessions, How Long is Now? seems mellower. But first impressions are deceptive; on closer listening, it turns out to be a vital collection of memorable tunes, avoiding electronic gimmickry and delivering some of the most essential offerings so far from the Dissidenten.

The acoustic treatment throws the spotlight on such classics as ‘All India Radio’, ‘Telephone Arab’, ‘At the Pyramids’ and of course ‘Fata Morgana’ – Dissidenten classics known the world over. With inspired new arrangements, the familiar tunes are stripped to their melodic essence, and the expansive improvisations give them a soulful new life.

The Dissidenten perform here without the safety net of electricity. Their unpredictable but successful step into the acoustic domain delivers a resounding musical surprise.