Exposé Online banner

GEPH — GEPH
(Bandcamp no#, 2016, DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-06-04

GEPH Cover art

It’s probably inevitable that a band including two tapping instruments (in this case both Chapman Sticks) and a drummer is going to elicit comparisons with Stick Men, and by extension, King Crimson. Especially if odd meters are in the mix, which they are with GEPH. And while the comparison is valid to a certain extent, it would be unfair to characterize them as clones or copycats. In some ways their music is more conventional harmonically, with less reliance on dissonance and altered scales, with some similarities to math-rock bands like Tortoise. There is widespread use of effects to alter the Stick tones, but not to the extent you find in Stick Men with all the guitar-synth keyboard sounds. The technique of playing a stringed instrument by tapping the strings seems to lend itself to interlocking patterns, and that is definitely a factor in GEPH’s music, but it is far from the only one. There are also sections where a melody or solo is backed by chords, almost as if an electric piano was part of the mix. One thing that works particularly well with the trio’s music is that while it is somewhat complex, the performance never sinks into sterile precision. They are technical enough to make the tunes work, but not so meticulous that the life is drained out of them. Drummer Josh Merhar also deserves credit for bringing a slightly jazzy tinge to the proceedings rather than going the muscle-bound power-drummer route. Given that they play the same instrument, Josh Goldberg and John Tyler Kent are individually indistinguishable on the recording, so it will have to suffice to say they both know what they’re doing — there are no weak links in the trio. As a Stick player myself, I’m always looking for interesting examples of the instrument being used in creative music, and GEPH is a worthy addition to the club. But it doesn’t take being a Stickist to enjoy the music!


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): GEPH

More info
http://geph.bandcamp.com

Latest news

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

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 Santana, 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


Previously in Exposé...

Haze - In the End: 1978 - 1988 – In the End: 1978-1988 is a compilation of various tracks that chronicle the 10 year existence of one the more undeservedly obscure UK progressive bands. In their early days, the band suffered from...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues