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Irene Kepl Violin and electronics; Mark Holub drums.


New Jersey born Mark Holub first appeared on SLAM 10 years ago on the best selling CD ‘ARBORETUM’ (SLAMCD 261) by his ground breaking quartet ‘Led Bib’. This new album showcases him in an improvised duo setting with renowned Austrian violinist Irene Kepl.


'Taschendrache' delves deep into all of the sonic possibilities that this unusual duo instrumentation can offer, moving from delicate pastoral sections to heavy grooving to more abstract improvisation and electronics. Before recording, this duo had already carefully honed their sound through concerts at clubs and festivals across Austria, and it shows. One can here the intense interplay between the two players as if they always know where the other one is headed. With the release of their first album together, there promises to be even further development, with more continental European touring scheduled in 2015 and a UK tour in April 2015.


 Of his new recording ‘Taschendrache’ Mark writes:

"Irene was one of the first people I played with after relocating to Vienna from London in 2012. We met after I heard her with her string quartet and immediately hit it off musically, but it wasn't obviously clear what exactly we were going to do together. After a few plays as a duo, it dawned on us that this was a great sound to explore. Playing in duo is always an exciting prospect, a chance to have a proper musical dialogue with just one person, but also it allows you to fully have the space to explore your own sound-world because of the openness in sound that a duo can bring. With this particular duo, with its slightly unusual instrumentation, the aforementioned things are of course true, but it also has the excitement that derives from it being an instrumental combo that is rarely heard which helps to enable us to approach it afresh each time, without preconceptions of what the music could or should sound like.


With the actual recording process I think we were able to capture the various approaches of the duo, from freewheeling grooves, to abstract noise to beautiful soundscapes, and I look forward to continue working and developing this duo."


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Details Reviews

CD Title – Taschendrache

Catalogue number SLAMCD 298

Leader or group name: Irene Kepl and Mark Holub

Names of musicians and the instruments they play.

Irene Kepl – Violin and electronics

Mark Holub – Drums



Track details:

1. Brake Pebbles 1:57

2  Planetarium im Quadrat 4:21

3. On The Carousel 7:05

4  Taschendrache 5:40

5. Arachnid 6:21

6 Seifenblasen Bauen 8:01

7. A Day at the Beach 4:33

8 Finsteres Zeitfenster 4:52

9. Dancing Beetles 4:20

10 Holz hackende Flecken 6:31

11. Emergency Broadcast System 1:24

12 Speed-date 1:43



All compositions by Irene Kepl and Mark Holub


Recording details:

Date and place of recording.

Name of sound engineer(s) for recording and mastering.


Recorded, mixed and mastered by Chris Janka at Scottenfeldgasse, Vienna

Recorded on October 15th, 2013

Mixed on March 24 and 25 2014

Mastered on June 26 2014


Mark Holub:

Drummer and composer, originally from the US who now has one foot in London and one in Vienna, Mark Holub is most notably known as the bandleader and composer for Led Bib. With Led Bib, he was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize 2009 (One of 12 albums of the year) and was also the winner of the Peter Whittingham Jazz Award 2005. Led Bib have topped college radio charts across the US and Canada and have played live across TV and radio in Europe, and featured in press across the world including cover features in Jazzwise and Jazz UK. They have released 7 albums and have toured to some of the highest profile festivals in Europe including North Sea Jazz Festival, Jazzfestival Berlin, London Jazz Festival, Saalfelden Jazz Festival and many others, as well as supporting Ornette Coleman and Pharoah Sanders. Holub is also active in other projects which see him tour around the UK, Europe and the US, including Blueblut(with Pamelia Kurstin), Mustard Pie(with Seb Rochford and Jan Kopinski), various free-improv configurations, work as a composer and performer with various contemporary dance companies and a myriad of other projects. Recently, Holub has been leading a number of masterclasses and workshops. These have included work with the Royal Welsh College of Music, British Council Nepal, Aldeburgh Young Musicians and Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory.


Irene Kepl:

Violinist and composer Irene Kepl studied classical violin and jazz in Linz, Austria and she now lives and works in Vienna. Her work focuses primarily on contemporary classical music, free improvisation, composition,  Jazz and groove based musics.


She has performed at many prestigious venues and festivals including: Klangspuren Schwaz, Festival 4020, Festival Unlimited, 12 points Festival/SE, Donau Festival Ulm, DanceKiosk Hamburg/GER, and Jazz Festival Petrovac/ME. Her music has been broadcast on various radio stations in Austria and abroad including Ö1, Montenegro, Sweden and Italy.


She received the second  prize in the Gustav Mahler Composition Competition and the Theodor Körner Price for composition. Free improvisation is also an important component in her search for her own spontaneous musical language. She has worked in this setting with Malcolm Goldstein and George Cremaschi/USA, Korhan Ehel/TR, Petr Vrba/CZ and Moe Staiano/USA amongst others. She is also the founder of the monthly held concert series "Musik in Raum" in Upper Austria which will feature many different projects. Further work includes commissions for theater, film and sound installations.


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