Exposé Online banner

Gurguburek — Old Postcards
(DOF, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-01-17

Old Postcards Cover art

There seems to be a burgeoning international boom in improvisational music augmented by electronics, either live processing or after the fact. It ranges from the noisy like Premature Burial to more sparse like Bocci and Barbiero, and Gurguburek is another entry towards the sparse end of the scale, also featuring Cristiano Bocci, this time with woodwind player Tobia Bondesan. Much of the time, the source instruments are discernable in the sound: guitar, saxophone, wood flute. The music is not completely improvised, though it’s never thoroughly composed either. “God Save the Sax” is a simple composition consisting of a gospel-like melody repeated over and over loosely by a chorus of saxes and acoustic slide guitar, used as backing for improvisations and sampled voices. It’s a technique that has been used in jazz for decades as an alternative to standard chords and bass lines. Other tracks feature long passages of environmental sound mixed up with effects and voices, the conventional instruments providing only minimal input. The music does occasionally develop a beat, though never really involving normal drums or percussion, just a variety of odd electronic tones. “Across the Deserts of Persia” is the closest the duo comes to a conventional composition, with a loping groove and what sounds like a real hand drum backing layers of saxophones; near-static keyboards fill out the background, along with a multitude of odd noises. In spite of the weirdness of the processed sounds, the overall mood is often near meditative, with the skritches, echoes, and whatnot functioning almost as a drone. Old Postcards isn’t the kind of thing you’d want to listen to every day, but it strikes a good balance between order and chaos that works well when you’re in the right mood for it.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Gurguburek, Cristiano Bocci

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Mirror Snake - Mirror Snake – Mirror Snake is an Oakland, CA-based neo-psych band. They play hard-edged post punk fuzzed out psychedelic rock that brings to mind bands like Dead Flowers, Plastic Crimewave Sound, and at times Amon...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues