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

2018-01-05
Ray Thomas RIP – On Thursday, 4 January 2017, the world lost Ray Thomas, founding member of the Moody Blues. Thomas sang and played flute, and was responsible for writing a number of the band's most memorable songs. He was 76. » Read more

2017-12-22
Roswell Rudd RIP – Jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd, one of the distinctive players of his instrument in many strains of music, has died at the age of 82. With a career stretching back to the early 60s and over a hundred recordings featuring his playing, he leaves behind a substantial legacy. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. » Read more

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ancient Curse - The Landing – The strains of an acoustic guitar, a soft vocal, then comes the barrage. If I were to contain this review to only word, it would be: Metallica. Ancient Curse do not appear to make any claims at...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues