Riot by Gropper/Graupe/Lillinger

2016 WhyPlayJazz (RS030), CD + MP3 Album Download

Gropper/Graupe/Lillinger »Riot«

Track listing

  1. Being Dark Is Easy  7:25
  2. Repeat!  0:11
  3. Daup Zustand  6:09
  4. Ignorance  0:17
  5. Illusions  8:45
  6. Mirror  1:36
  7. Demons  1:51
  8. People over Profit  1:43
  9. Obstacle  2:00
  10. Sale  5:25
  11. Riot  7:26


Philipp Gropper (tenor saxophone), Ronny Graupe (guitar), Christian Lillinger (drums)

Production credits

Recorded (August 2015) and mixed (April 2016) at rbb-Studio Berlin by Maria Suschke (Sound Supervisor), Peter Schladebach (Sound Engineer) and Ulrich Hieber (Digital Cut). Mastered by Ulrich Hieber and Klaus Scheuermann. Produced for Kulturradio rbb by Ulf Drechsel. Photo by Ludwig Ohla. Artwork by Travassos. Special thanks to Kulturradio rbb, Maria Suschke, Ulrich Hieber, Peter Schladebach, Ulf Drechsel, Roland Schulz, Travassos, Klaus Scheuermann and Ludwig Ohla.

They don’t go on stage, they step into the ring. That’s where they meet – face to face. Everyone for himself, everyone for the other, everyone highly concentrated and receptive for the quickly produced ideas, everyone as a source of inspiration for a musical clinch that – wide awake – lets the events arising in between breaks and attacks become existential. Outrage, tumult and revolt – that’s why RIOT. Plastic flow Baby!

They don’t go on stage, they step into the ring. That’s where they meet – face to face. Everyone for himself, everyone for the other, everyone highly concentrated and receptive for the quickly produced ideas, everyone as a source of inspiration for a musical clinch that – wide awake – lets the events arising in between breaks and attacks become existential. GROPPER/GRAUPE/LILLINGER is not only a band. GROPPER/GRAUPE/LILLINGER is a pumping, breathing, vital organism. An organism whose independent existence transmits itself to the audience in its now already 14th year of existence like an unexpected stroke of luck.
The audience feels that this music has something to do with them. And there is no need for any didactic hints or programmatic expressions of a point of view. It happens immediately because these simultaneous, collaborative, at the same time free and disciplined sounds strike a chord and escape from clichés. The immanent prerequisite is the contextual examination of what is there: varieties of jazz, new music, electronic music, noise, progressive rock… Philipp Gropper (saxophone), Ronny Graupe (guitar) and Christian Lillinger (drums), however, don’t internalize the elements in order to reproduce them. They distil their own sound from them.
All roots are examined to find out how they could have developed such an urgency once, in order to then be zoomed into a present where they relate to the spirit of the “now”. Very conscious of form, individual rather than a reproduction, feverish rather than linear, free, dynamic and conspirative. The three mirror the metropolises of the present trilogically, confront them and zigzag through their labyrinths. When they cast them into their order it becomes obvious that and how the story went on. This comes across so plausibly because the protagonists aggressively expose and defend their ego.
Again and more and more their attitude is not defensive. That’s why “Riot”, that’s why uproar, tumult and revolt. This is how music of absolute relevance emerges, music that is more and more conscious of its in large parts written out means. Philipp Gropper, Ronny Graupe and Christian Lillinger have liberated themselves from historical bonds: Finally a (still) young band that doesn’t administrate the inheritance but follows its own vision. Everything but iconoclasts or hermetic avant-gardists, they are confidently and far from routine giving continuity to what they have achieved, making – after their last live albums – use of the features a studio offers in terms of post-production and sound manipulation, this time installing interludes as small islands of peace in the streams of consciousness of their urban explorations and thankfully keeping on and on with their hands-on joint arrivals and departures. The longer, the better …


Auf diese Weise stellen Gropper und Graupe Lillingers agiler Perkussivität eine laute und doch ruhig kreisende, fast hypnotische Kraft gegenüber - so lange, bis sie zum tatsächlich endgültigen Höhepunkt selbst immer bewegter spielen und am Ende solistisch virtuos zu Lillinger aufschließen.

Se dunque l'atteggiamento delle avanguardie germaniche non si è mai fatto troppo attendere per apporto polemico e forti prese di posizione, su tale grande filone converge con titolate istanze di protagonismo il giovane ma già ben sperimentato trio, e dal comune, rivoltoso (e, perché no, "riottoso") sound si genera un dinamico coacervo di tattiche istantanee funzionali a tale strategia di cruda denuncia e coerente partecipazione.

Three-legged stools are only able to stand upright because of the weight is balanced equally in thirds. Remove one prop and the entire structure can collapse. […] Riot is a matchless display of Extrasensory perception-like tightness. […] One instrument takes the lead as if it is an adult shepherding children, while the other two act up like rival siblings, advancing attention-getting stratagem; then roles are shifted. Variants of this strategy work throughout the CD, reaching its zenith in the final and title tune. More variegated in execution, by that point individual output is simultaneously coagulated and loosened. […] With sequences decorated, deconstructed and explored singly or in tandem, the program becomes more cohesive. Unlike three lines improvised in broken chords, all the output affiliates into a solid statement.

Their new release, Riot, is a texture rich album rife with exploratory electronic sounds, abstract rhythms, wrapped in the musical ease that a long time association can bring. […] Once awake, the group stretches out its arms and embraces the new day. A great listen!

Not a kid anymore? [...] Nervös-urbane Improvisationsmusik mit einer spürbaren Abneigung gegen Langeweile. […] – und „Riot“ klingt so, wie man sich politische Instrumentalmusik in unruhigen Zeiten vorstellt oder wünscht. Durchtrainiert und kompromisslos...

Gropper/Graupe/Lillinger präsentieren sich auf ihrem neuen Studioalbum als Impulsgeber eines musikalischen Zustands, der der eigenen Beschreibung als „pumpender, atmender, vitaler Organismus“, überraschend nahekommt, „Darum RIOT, darum Aufruhr, Tumult und Revolte.“

Christian Broecking, Berliner Zeitung, Nr. 18/2017

Auch auf seiner sechsten CD, die statt Standards Eigenkompositionen bietet, ist das Trio innovativ geblieben mit komplexen Kompositionen zwischen Jazz, Neuer Musik, Rock und - erstmals - Elektronik. Die verschiedenen Einflüsse werden geschickt verquickt, sind nie stromlinienförmig. Im Gegenteil. In dicht verzahntem Zusammenspiel klingt das Ganze recht sperrig und aufrührerisch. "Riot" ist folglich der Titel des Albums.

Reiner Kobe, JAZZ’N’MORE 1-2017

Ihre Ästhetik bleibt radikal: Es gibt wohl keine improvisierende Band in Deutschland, die zugleich eine so komplexe und kompromisslose komponierte Musik spielt.

Das Schöne ist, dass der Berliner Top-Gitarrist und -Komponist Ronny Graupe jetzt mit gleich zwei neuen CDs vertreten ist und sich alles, was musikalisch so rätselhaft, so far out, so rebellisch an ihm scheinen mag, in Wohlgefallen auflöst, weil beide in der Summe deutlich machen, was ihn antreibt: die freie Improvisation, provokant abstrahierend in "Gropper/Graupe/Lillinger" oder als konsequente Fortführung dessen, was Improvisation im modernen Jazz bedeuten kann, in "Ronny Graupes Spot“. Ronny, hats off!

Alexander Schmitz, JazzPodium 12-16/1-17

Der Saxofonist Philipp Gropper formuliert mit Graupe und Lillinger auf „Riot“ (WhyPlayJazz/Greifswald) eine Musik, deren radikale Klangästhetik bereits im Albumtitel zum Ausdruck kommt.

Uli Lemke, Jazzthing #116, November - Januar 2017

Dieses liegt zwischen brodelndem, freiem Jazz voller ungestümer Dringlichkeit und experimentellem Rock: 43 Minuten Achterbahnfahrt, stets haarscharf an der Kante entlang und immer auch da, wo‘s herausfordert.

drums & percussion, #6, Nov/Dez 2016

Monotones Schönklangvermeidungsritual aus der Mottenkiste des uralten Free Jazz der sechziger Jahre.

Geblieben ist die bassfreie Quecksilbrigkeit, das Vertauschen der Rollen untereinander. Und die Unruhe.

Tim Caspar Boehme, taz, Kunstraum

This is no ordinary music...this is not for mere contemplation of philosophical calm or zen utopia, for shaking your rump to a groove or swaying gently in melodic celebration...this is music for causing an uneasy tension, for setting displeasure at the start of every utterance. Well done fellas, dat's fresh.

Er auf der Bühne: ein Naturereignis, ein Tonvulkan, ein Instrumentalist, den man nicht vergisst. Gefährlich, wendig, lässig, rockig. Virtuos bis zum Anschlag, aber ohne all diese Testosterondoofheit, die einem viele Gitarristen so verleidet. Man muss ja nicht nur gut spielen können, man muss ja auch wissen, was man besser nicht spielt. Ronny Graupe heißt Jazz-Deutschlands neuer Supergitarrist, und er macht sich einen Spaß aus der immer noch anzutreffenden Nachfrage: Ronny wer?

Ulrich Stock, DIE ZEIT N° 43 / 2016

Schroffe, kantige und sperrige Improvisationsmusik.

Martin Laurentius, WDR3, Jazz and World, preview

Charme der Zappelbude wird zum Aufruhr: “Hyperactive Kid“ mit neuem Namen auf dem Jazzfestival Frankfurt

Claus Gnichwitz, hr2 Jazzfachts

Unorthodoxe jähe Motivkürzel, eine sardonische Knappheit, das vitale perkussive Detail und das Spiel mit der Lücke. Die Musik des Berliner Trios, zeichnet sich durch eine forcierte Dringlichkeit aus. Das hat Format, rundum.

You can always count on this trio challenging, fresh attitude.

The trio decided to drop the Hyperactive Kid moniker and open a new chapter of their creative path, with an immediate result of going even further away from the conventional musical world into extreme avant-garde, which completely beats classification. [...] Every listener can define the thin line between freedom and havoc here individually, as the music obviously refuses to set any boundaries itself.

Mit dem neuen Namen solle der Vielfalt und Ernsthaftigkeit ihrer Musik nichts mehr im Wege stehen, so die Bandmitglieder.

Stralsunder Ostseezeitung

"Gropper/Graupe/Lillinger" formerly known as "Hyperactive Kid" – ihre Musik ist wie Quecksilber, in permanenter Bewegung, sprudelt voller Ideen. "Riot" ist das erste richtig "produzierte" Album.

It would be easy for me to focus exclusively on the rhythmic aspects of Hyperactive Kid’s music, but that would be missing the point, the intervallic ingredients of their musical explorations is just as defining for their bold nonlinear structures. The three improvisers of this unit are intensely concerned with the drama of the inner life. Their music represents an abstraction of the every day life in our modern European society.
The potent energies screaming through HK’s improvisations and compositions are very real, and absolutely human.
Three interweaving individuals creating a multiple perspective in which various contrasting characters are presented simultaneously. Plastic flow baby.

Petter Eldh


Also available

10 Year Anniversary Live
(2015, Vinyl LP)