Ottla's second album 'Vogel' is out now.

Posted on 12 Apr 2024

Ottla's sophomore album 'Vogel' is out now.

'Vogel' (Bird), is the full awakening after Bert Dockx Band's "Ghosts." The window flies open, the sun burns. Fluttering and wailing in jazz-improv-electro-noise-prog-afro-blues-groove-punk-krautrock, Ottla, true to its Kafkaesque nature, transformed once again, and the quartet began further developing the compositions with an even richer language. The album showcases significant contrasts in strength and color between songs, often even within one song. There exists no rivalry between Thomas Jillings and Bert Dockx, but rather a playful dialogue. Jillings, the multi-instrumentalist, expanded his setup and plays saxophone, clarinet, and various synthesizers. The bass and drum parts of Gerben Brys and Louis Evrard provide tension and thunder, with effects resonating from their amplifiers like mist in an enchanted forest. 

Ottla, a band named after Franz Kafka’s favourite sister, was initially formed by Bert Dockx (Dans Dans, Flying Horseman) for a one-time performance celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Jazz Lab concert series in 2019. What began as a fleeting experiment evolved into a full-fledged band, leading to the creation of an album and numerous performances. After a temporary hiatus, Ottla resurfaced to support a 2021 improvisation for a monologue by Josse De Pauw. Ottla shed its skin, found new inspiration, and is ready to embark on a new chapter in 2024.  

Their second full-length, Vogel (Bird), emerged as a vibrant and diverse exploration of jazz, improv, electro, noise, prog, afro, blues, groove, punk, and krautrock. The quartet, consisting of Bert Dockx, Thomas Jillings, Gerben Brijs, and Louis Evrard, engages in a playful dialogue, showcasing contrasts in strength and color. Ottla's journey is captured in the album, with the spontaneity and dynamics of live performances preserved. The result is an exciting and transformative musical experience. 

To further explore the new music, the quartet performed a series of café concerts in 2022 and some try-outs in 2023. Finally, last summer, they entered the studio to capture "Vogel." In Studio Ledeberg, Peter Desmedt's cage, the spontaneity and dynamics of the performances were preserved, with room for overdubs to enrich the songs just a bit more. The result is an album full of exciting twists: a series of new songs that will undoubtedly continue to transform live. The bird is free.