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“…Their flawless interaction breathes a vitality that leaves the audience begging for encores until the repertoire is exhausted. This is probably how immortality begins.”
PASSAUER NEW PRESS, June 2014
“Just get out there and play.” A football trainer’s words to his team work just as well as a guiding principle for music. Do what you like, but do it well and do it differently every time. For instance Interzone, the trio led by 22-year-old Austrian trumpeter Mario Rom, just goes out there. And plays. Growly, gnarly, confident and nimble – a good formula. Time and again the interaction between bass, drums and trumpet reveals new layers: driving grooves and driven melody lines, references to 1960s jazz or the rhythms of Africa and the Caribbean, memories of pharmaceutically induced excesses, of tribulation and confusion, of journeys to musical worlds already long dead and forgotten by the time the three musicians first picked up their instruments.
Now, on the cover of Nothing Is True, they sit in the dimly lit chiaroscuro of Vienna’s Planter’s Club, itself a monument to colonial society. Three wild boys, marked by a life they couldn’t yet have lived, ready for anything. Mario Rom lights a match, making the center of the photograph a white point: Interzone is named for William S. Burroughs’ ecstatic convolution of prose, a work he completed during his time in Tangier, the brimming sensuality of which clearly served as a model for the trio. Burroughs’ milieu was the disturbed, rootless Tangier bohème of the 1950s; Mario Rom, the confidently propulsive bassist Lukas Kranzelbinder and drummer Herbert Pirker seize the chance offered by their youth and their distance from the epicenter of jazz: Nothing is true – literally, in this in-between world – but, it would seem, everything is permitted.
Recklessly and impetuously they break their trail, clearing away stylistic signposts, swinging, grooving, abruptly changing tempo; in short: playing, following wherever the energy leads them in the moment. Even Ornette Coleman’s bittersweet ballad “Lonely Woman” must bow to their whim in the end: Mario Rom and his comrades step on the gas, leave scratches and scars on the melody – and wrest from it, with this rough treatment, an undreamed-of power.
DIE ZEIT, Stefan Hentz, March 2013
„…straight-ahead bebop phrases, freely tonal avant-garde, thumping funk grooves and pulsating free meters. […] Brillant!”
JAZZTHING, Martin Laurentius, February 2013
„Drive, humor, virtuosity and a flirtatious touch of retro mark what may be this autumn‘s best domestic jazz album. Styrian trumpeter Mario Rom shows international caliber with this compact sensation.“
KLEINE ZEITUNG, Otmar Klammer, December 2012
„Nothing Is True (Laub Records), the newly released debut album from the trio known as Interzone, proves a refreshingly unconventional and elegant reinterpretation of the classic definition of jazz. Anything but excessively intellectual, the music is atmospheric, tasteful and varied. With exhilarating fleet-footedness, confidence and a clear love of experimentation, the three-man team swings through the wide world of jazz, without needing to reinvent it. They simply avail them- selves of the many styles classified as „jazz“: a little bebop here, a little funk there, a pinch of avant- garde and it‘s done – a graceful group sound, far more colorful than much of what one usually hears in this musical context.
Led by trumpeter Mario Rom‘s versatile, melody-oriented playing, the music steers clear of awkward- ness and is constantly in flux. Lukas Kranzelbinder and Herbert Pirker do a truly excellent job here as well, providing an appropriately dynamic rhythmic basis. Whether in the playful passages or in more introverted moments, Interzone‘s offerings never lose themselves in triviality but follow the famous golden thread from the first note on.
MICA, Michael Ternai, January 2013