205

Ergo: Multitude, Solitude

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Ergo: Multitude, Solitude This is a trio working the electro-acoustic margins, as the instrumental line-up might suggest; and whilst Ergo's music often flirts with ambient notions, there is equally a predominant air of unease about their work, as if by mutual consent they can only reach a kind of uneasy rapprochement with both silence and the moment.

The air of the unresolved—which is also sometimes symptomatic of their work—could similarly be the outcome of shared resolve. Indeed without that air the lengthy "Vessel" might congeal into something only too ambient in its very lack of harmonic and melodic development. As it is, this is music which for all of the rhythmic impetus generated by drummer Shawn Baltazor tends to loom as much as it has momentum. Brett Sroka's trombone represents an all too human voice in the midst of dead and near-dead keyboard embellishments, but the overall effect is tantalizing in its indeterminacy.

Downbeat music serves its own ends, of course, and there's no reason to believe that it necessarily follows some induced high. "Endlessly (Multitude, Solitude)" makes the point. Here, keyboardist Carl Maguire—the man who's responsible for some of the stimulating releases of recent years with his band Floriculture—generates all kinds of excuses for stasis with near-static, repetitive keyboard figures, even as the music develops a kind of distinctly non-linear flow. The result is almost an uneasy compromise between two arguably irreconcilable notions, but any tension that's generated doesn't stem from that but rather from the fact that the trio is adept at thinking as one. The outcome of the collective ideal is not so much a headlong plunge as it is a seemingly infinite capacity for reflection, even while the music never drifts into the background.

There isn't mood music here either, regardless of whatever that ragged notion might imply. The relative sweetness of "She Haunts Me" gives the lie to the title; in the midst of electronic filigrees, Maguire and Sroka first compete to offer a lead, but then, by mutual agreement, seem to abandon the notion as too facile. When the music takes up some liquid space it's with a certain resolve. The noise of the trio is subdued to the point of no return, but that point is skillfully avoided, as if they know the territory too well to want to go there.


Track Listing: Rana Sylvatica; Vessel; She Haunts Me; Little Shadow; Endlessly (Multitude, Solitude); Actuator.

Personnel: Brett Sroka: trombone, computer; Carl Maguire: Rhodes electric piano, Prophet synthesizer, electronic effects; Shawn Baltazor: drums.

Title: Multitude, Solitude | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Cuneiform Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "The Magical Forest" CD/LP/Track Review The Magical Forest
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 6, 2016
Read "Ella Lives" CD/LP/Track Review Ella Lives
by Chris Mosey
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Blooming Tall Phlox" CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "The Final Concert" CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Forgive and Forget" CD/LP/Track Review Forgive and Forget
by Edward Blanco
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "Michael Gamble and The Rhythm Serenaders" CD/LP/Track Review Michael Gamble and The Rhythm Serenaders
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 19, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.