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Efzeg: Krom (2006)

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Efzeg: Krom How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

I initially became acquainted with this Vienna-based electro-acoustic outfit through Grain (Duran, 2000). With saxophones, turntables, and the addition of high-tech instrumentation, Krom further develops Efzeg's microtonal and minimalistic methodology.

The group often explores a gnomic musical panorama, intimating a rather solitary existence of barely detectable turntable scratches, subliminal effects and trance-like passages. Dynamics are subtle here, but oscillating electronics enliven a quaint directive, translating into a wide-open sound-plane. At times these expansive works seamlessly disappear into a black hole.

Boris Hauf's concise saxophone voicings provide a soft impetus to the layered and succinctly implemented, computer-generated backwashes. On "Ribo, the zany electro-mechanical noises are enhanced by polytonal drones and abstract notions of being transported through the cosmos. Yet in some instances, the quintet also dives into moments of angst.

Essentially, Efzeg's ever-so-gentle fashion of touching upon one's neural sensitivities works as an equalizer of sorts. The musicians don't bombard you with massive walls of sonic mayhem. On the contrary, the ensemble's musicality and line of attack is deceptively complex and nicely paced, frequently stamped by a time-sensitive mode of development.

Track Listing: Intron; Som; Exon; Ribo.

Personnel: Boris Hauf: saxophones, synths, computer; Billy Roisz: computer; Martin Siewart: guitars, lap steel, electronics; Burkhard Stangl: guitars, electronics; dieb13: computer, turntables.

Record Label: Hatology

Style: Modern Jazz


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