TWINS – “Something About Alice Coltrane” (Song Premiere)

Today is the perfect day to share Berlin-based Alternative Rock band, TWINS, and their latest B-side single, a jazz-infused song called “Something About Alice Coltrane.” The song comes from the mind of TWINS band leader, Miro Denck, and Miro shared, “This recording is my humble tribute to one of my greatest sources of artistic and spiritual inspiration, the sublime music of the great jazz mystic Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda. It would be presumptuous to think there’s even a way to get anywhere near the powerful talent unified on the original recording, ‘Something About John Coltrane’ of her 1971 album, Journey in Satchidananda, which includes Pharoah Sanders, Cecil McBee and Rashied Ali, let alone as a single musician. Rather than that, to me this is a very personal meditation on life, loss and the endless comfort I find in her music.”

If you’re enjoying this latest slab of experimental rock music from TWINS, their full-length record called The Human Jazz will be hitting music streaming services on June 29th via Earth Libraries. Additionally, I was able to catch up with Miro Denck for a brief interview about this new single.

Can you go into depth about your connection to Alice Coltrane? What sparked your love for her work, and what prompted you to you to rework a song of hers?

I don’t remember when exactly I first became aware of her work, but it was some years back through John Coltrane. I remember that it felt like a revelation because for me it opened this door towards a certain stream within the jazz world that felt like it was waiting for me to show me a beauty I hadn’t known before, this soulful, free and mystic form that was so far away from the showing off that you sometimes find elsewhere (which of course also has its justification). Alice for me is more than a musician that I revere, her music takes me to other places, outside and inside. I’ve always tried to understand her art also on a musical level, particularly to learn some of her language to see how it fits into my work, to get further from where I come from and develop more freedom musically. To be honest it felt quite brash recording this adaption all by myself, being this self taught, home recording person, obviously unable to do justice some of the best musicians in jazz history. But in the end it’s just a humble tribute to the music I love most in the world. 

Sonically, where did you find inspiration for this track, aside from Alice, of course?

Well, I certainly wanted to go for the warm, earthy palette of the original which I love so much, but I tried to see what I can do it with some of the tools that are more naturally mine, especially since I had no horns or reeds at hand, nor an upright bass. So I ran the piano through my tape echo and put some “wah”-guitar on top and somehow it didn’t feel too weird. 

How would you describe this track in the context of your forthcoming album?

It probably represents a glance at the freedom which I would wish to find in my own music, but also the conflict on how to bring this together with other songs that are more on the poppy side of things. I think there’s some tracks on my album that already reflect some earlier attempts at this fusion, like “Anatman” or “Foliage”, even if the latter in particular also draws from the library music genre and other directions. What remains is the hope that all the different music and art I love and filter ultimately leads to something that’s still consistent and unique to the listener.