All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

199

Tom Hamilton / Bruce Eisenbeil: Shadow Machine

Martin Longley By

Sign in to view read count
Hazily speaking, electronicist Tom Hamilton emerges from a modern classical realm, while guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil inhabits the jazz improvising zone. On this album, such stylistic concerns are very nearly unimportant, as the pair are engaging in their own language of free improvisation. There's more space in this music, although Hamilton and Eisenbeil never cut back on their particular type of fluid hyperactivity. The synth-man uses a Nord modular device, which operates in vintage analogue mimicry mode. He scoops himself out from the heart of electronic interference, his palette taken from the sounds of internal malfunction. Eisenbeil spiders around, sounding comparatively traditional as he shies away from the overuse of effects and devices, almost adopting a kind of contained banjo resonance.

"Dot Dot Dot" has an almost melodic quality, with both players aping marimba plinks, while the event-packed "Walleye Spawn" provides the most varied textures, with its tightly-stuttered ping-pong compressions. Hamilton and Eisenbeil have found a level of speed-dialogue, which moves from the prolonged hovering ascendance of "Little Left On The Left" to the stripped pricking frequencies of "Silver Through A Straw."

The duo effectively launched its album at last month's Rhythm In The Kitchen, a three-day festival held at the Church For All Nations in New York City's Hell's Kitchen. They were the second act of four and for a Saturday night, attendance was thin, seeming particularly so in the high-vaulted and brightly-lit space. Hamilton and Eisenbeil's sonic field isn't plump with bass sounds and came across as being particularly trebly when issuing from the small PA setup.



Even so, by making their set compacted and bright, the pair still delivered a sharply focused sequence of pieces, kept to short tune-length, as on the album. When viewed in the flesh, it was easier to attach sounds to guitar and keyboard, with Eisenbeil less abstract and more rooted in obvious string activities. Hamilton would flash fingers across his knobs and keys, aiming for sheer disembodied electro-chatter, often percussively insectoid in nature. A location lying somewhere in between a church and a bar would have been best, but this naturally intimate music still fared well due to the sheer resourcefulness of the players.


Track Listing: Dusting Off Dada; Dryer Mouth; Shadow Machine; Dot Dot Dot; Mars Fell On Alabama; Walleye Spawn; The Salt Eaters; Little Left On The Left; Silver Through A Straw.

Personnel: Tom Hamilton: Nord modular synthesizer; Bruce Eisenbeil: guitar,

Title: Shadow Machine | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Pogus

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Always Forward CD/LP/Track Review
Always Forward
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 15, 2018
Read The Music of Richard Whiting CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Richard Whiting
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Barefoot Dances and Other Visions CD/LP/Track Review
Barefoot Dances and Other Visions
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Twinscapes Vol. 2: A Modern Approach To The Dancefloor CD/LP/Track Review
Twinscapes Vol. 2: A Modern Approach To The Dancefloor
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Talking with Charlie - An Imaginary Talk with Charlie Parker CD/LP/Track Review
Talking with Charlie - An Imaginary Talk with Charlie Parker
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 15, 2018
Read The Gene Krupa Quartet: Live 1966! CD/LP/Track Review
The Gene Krupa Quartet: Live 1966!
by Richard J Salvucci
Published: November 15, 2018
Read "Smart Grid" CD/LP/Track Review Smart Grid
by Don Phipps
Published: October 14, 2018
Read "Tradition" CD/LP/Track Review Tradition
by Chris May
Published: June 20, 2018
Read "Dawn" CD/LP/Track Review Dawn
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 27, 2018
Read "Obsidian" CD/LP/Track Review Obsidian
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 9, 2018
Read "Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics" CD/LP/Track Review Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: July 5, 2018
Read "Rondane" CD/LP/Track Review Rondane
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 3, 2018