175

EKG & Giuseppe Ielasi: Group

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
EKG & Giuseppe Ielasi: Group Some combinations of "real instruments and electronics starkly highlight extreme contrasts between the two; some uses of electronics produce music that is dehumanising and alienating. At the right time and place, both of these tendencies can be very engaging, if very demanding—however, they are rarely a great deal of fun, nor are they intended to be.

But it's a mistake to judge all combinations of instruments and electronics in this way. Group is an album that counteracts both these tendencies. It integrates the instruments and electronics into a seamless whole that is warm, human and, yes, fun, without in any way seeming populist or compromising. And that's quite an achievement.

The album brings together the EKG duo of Ernst Karel and Kyle Bruckman with Giuseppe Ielasi. Recorded in April 2006 while the threesome were on tour in New England, tracks one, three and five were then worked on by Karel in Berlin, and the untitled tracks two and four by Ielesi in Milan. Despite such intercontinental to-ing and fro-ing, the album has a pleasing coherence and does not sound as if it has undergone a great deal of post-production.

The two musicians who comprise EKG effectively manage to invert the roles of their instruments and their electronics; the duo's trumpet, oboe and English horn are used to produce sustained vibrato-less notes that are easily mistaken for electronically generated tones, whereas their use of analog electronics—complete with the noises of switches, amplifier hum and the like—sounds all too human. In a world where "performers too often sit on stage in front of their Mac, seemingly immobile and inert, such humanity in the use of electronics is very welcome.

Ielasi also has the knack of humanising the music. At the beginning of track two, for example, the inclusion of just two piano notes, repeated intermittently, complete transforms the soundscape from an alien electronic environment into something far warmer and more inviting. Later in the same piece, an organ drone plus sparse interventions on piano achieve the same effect.

If you are daunted by the prospect of electro-acoustic improvisation, this album can be tried without fear.


Track Listing: Detach; Untitled; (Providence-Middletown); Untitled; Umweg.

Personnel: Ernst Karel: trumpet, analog electronics; Kyle Bruckmann: oboe, English horn, analog electronics; Giuseppe Ielasi: electronics, guitar, piano, etc.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Formed Records | Style: Electronica


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "The Edge of Visibility" CD/LP/Track Review The Edge of Visibility
by Jim Olin
Published: April 1, 2016
Read "This is Life" CD/LP/Track Review This is Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 29, 2016
Read "Amiira" CD/LP/Track Review Amiira
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2016
Read "Swan Song" CD/LP/Track Review Swan Song
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 17, 2016
Read "Cactus" CD/LP/Track Review Cactus
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 24, 2016
Read "Big City Love" CD/LP/Track Review Big City Love
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!