12

Kollega: EP 1

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
The self-titled debut from UK-based Kollega is a brief and eclectic collection merging multiple technologies with acoustic and electric instrumentation. Bassist Dave Shooter—the de-facto spokesperson for the quartet—explains that the group sound is influenced by the likes of the electo-acoustic Nerve and Aphex Twin, and while there may be a trace of the Richard D. James Album (Warp Records, 1996) in Kollega's EP 1, the sound here is unique to this young group of innovators.

The bassist says that over time he has been increasingly integrating effects into his music and using a sequencer and digital audio workstation, for writing and performance, controlling sounds in real time. Guitarist Lerøy Luptøn also utilizes synthesizer and electronics along with the particularly critical tasks of recording, mixing and production on EP 1. He and Shooter created the loops on this recording and also have an all-electronics/synth offshoot duo, Kollega Elektronikus. Tenor saxophonist Matt Robinson and drummer Ben McCabe account for the acoustic half of Kollega and worked with Shooter extensively for more than ten years.

"Smooth Like Ken" opens the album; its title coyly vague on the Kollega Facebook page where potential namesakes from Kendrick Lamar to Kenneth Branagh pop up. Beginning with electronics, Robinson's soulful tenor comes to the forefront before a back-and-forth and, eventually, a merging of sounds. The sax growls on through McCabe's steady, ominous beat on "Benidorm Monitor" while the escalating alarm of effects adds to the intensity of the piece. "Arc Light" is the more complex of the compositions; at times it has the funky groove of classic Steely Dan, at others, sax-driven hard bop or a floating wave of tranquil electronics.

The intriguing thing about this kind of blended music lies in its inherent risk. It can come off as dated 1980s style fusion or it can be uniquely organic. A diverse cross-section of experimental jazz masters such as Pauline Oliveros, Abdul Moimême and Rob Mazurek are exceptions rather than the rule when it comes to creating works that are extraordinarily musical, animated and captivating. Kollega shows every indication of entering that territory based on this initial outing.

Track Listing: Smooth Like Ken; Benidorm Monitor; Arc Light.

Personnel: Dave Shooter: bass, pedalboard, laptop, controllers; Leroy Lupton: synthesizer, guitar, laptop controllers; Matt Robinson: tenor saxophone; Ben McCabe: drums.

Title: EP 1 | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
  • EP 1 by Karl Ackermann
Read more articles
EP1

EP1

844290 Records
2018

buy
EP 1

EP 1

Self Produced
2018

buy

Related Articles

Read New York Trio Album Reviews
New York Trio
By Troy Dostert
July 18, 2019
Read Visions Album Reviews
Visions
By Friedrich Kunzmann
July 18, 2019
Read Invincible Nimbus Album Reviews
Invincible Nimbus
By Jerome Wilson
July 18, 2019
Read Syzygy Album Reviews
Syzygy
By Don Phipps
July 18, 2019
Read Shafted Album Reviews
Shafted
By Edward Blanco
July 17, 2019
Read Live at the Bird’s Eye Jazz Club Album Reviews
Live at the Bird’s Eye Jazz Club
By Don Phipps
July 17, 2019
Read New Year Album Reviews
New Year
By Dan Bilawsky
July 17, 2019