Exposé Online banner

7 for 4 — Splash
(MGI Records MGR 1026, 2014, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2014-11-05

Splash Cover art

The world has no shortage of technically difficult instrumental music, and the genre of jazz-rock fusion supplies a significant portion of it. Difficulty on its own is neither a positive nor a negative factor — unless you're some kind of technique junkie who gets off on fast riffs and lightning unison lines. The trick is to make it musical enough to appeal to non-fetishists. 7 for 4, led by German guitar teacher Wolfgang Zenk, who also handles the keyboards and all the composition, range pretty wide stylistically, from classic fusion to country-inflected rave-ups (rather along the lines of what Dixie Dregs did on their classic material). As you might expect from someone whose day job is teaching guitar, Zenk utilizes pretty much every known technique on his instrument, and tosses off flurries of 32nd notes with seeming effortlessness. But in the midst of all the flashy playing, there are some solid tunes with good melodies, and the diversity of the writing keeps it from sounding all the same. Bassist Markus Grützner and drummer Klaus Engl supply what's needed, but Zenk is clearly the focal point. There's a long continuum between the sloppy fumbling of inexperienced players and the quantized precision of completely programmed music; 7for4 is firmly entrenched quite a ways down toward the precision end of the scale, so no doubt many listeners will find the music overly technical. While my personal taste generally favors music that is less meticulous in execution, Zenk and company won me over with this release. Though I would like to hear them loosen up a bit and sound like they're having more fun.


Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): 7 for 4

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Focus - Focus 9 / New Skin – After an initial stab at a return to action with 2002's Focus 8, Thijs van Leer is back with an almost totally new lineup that's sounding better than ever. That is, if your tastes for this...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues