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

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Fantasy - Vivariatum – Fantasy are probably best known for their 1973 debut, Paint a Picture, a song-orientated but strikingly beautiful and melodic classic of British progressive. More recently, Audio Archives released...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues