Gnomus — II
(Fiasko FRCD-17, 2004, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2005-03-01This is the second release of spontaneous compositions from this Finnish trio. Drums, keyboards and guitar wander into the outer reaches of deep space for improvisations that never really approach rock, though they don’t sound like jazz either. This must be the improvisational side of post-rock, I suppose. Even when the guitar hones in on something like a riff, the drums refuse to cooperate and settle on a standard backbeat, loosely keeping the tempo on cymbals with sporadic emphasis on toms. At least the basic tracks of these three pieces were recorded live; there are credits for “sound treatment” which may refer either to something done live at the shows or later in post-production. Certainly there are processed noises and voices appearing that do not have a clearly defined source among the principal players. Most of the time, keyboards dominate, but not in the ways keyboards usually do. While there are some melodies or lead lines, most of the playing is textural, probably involving knob-twiddling and outboard effects devices. No sequencers are in evidence, and in fact, it’s often difficult to identify the instruments at all. The low end of the frequency spectrum is sometimes covered by a recognizable keyboard, but at other times, the lines precisely double the guitar’s notes, and must be the result of an effect on the guitar. Often the guitar is obscured by keyboard sounds (or maybe participating incognito), but at times it works into a Fripp-like sustained line or a low growly bass line.
Related artist(s): Gnomus
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more