Exposé Online banner

Jeff Greinke — Before Sunrise
(Spotted Peccary SPM-3701, 2018, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-04-27

Before Sunrise Cover art

He’s been actively recording music since the early 80s, with well over two dozen releases to his credit, yet probably not as prolific as some others in the floating ambient subgenre, but his creations are clearly different, embracing acoustic instrumentation as a fundamental part of his electronic based sound, thereby often making his music a hybrid of chamber styles and ambient electronics. I’ve not heard every release, in fact probably only around ten of them throughout the years, but they all seem to follow along in that general direction. Before Sunrise makes good on all of his previous endeavors, seeming to be a very natural progression along a somewhat expected trajectory. Each of the eight tracks of varying length stay around long enough to make an impressionistic statement without wearing down the listener with endless or unnecessary repetition or extension. The nine-minute opener, “High Flyers of the Night Sky,” is probably one of the most purely floating and subtle electronic amont them all, but even there, among the gentle keyboard sounds and textures, we hear strong melodies emerging from the drones in the darkness, flanked by baritone sax from guest player James DeJoie, french horn from Greg Campbell, trumpet from Lesli Dalaba, and soothing violin from Austin Larkin, such that by the end of the piece we are treated to a truly colorful and mystical kaleidoscope of light and shadows. “Slow Train on an Open Plain” is a perfect title for the follow-up track that emerges out of the shadow of the first, here more string-driven with violin, viola and cello, with french horn driving the main melody punctuated by beautiful piano ornamentation. “Under Falling Stars” is a piece that proceeds with a stong melodic looping cycle, it’s all Greinke here with no guest players, using a wide variety of keyboard sounds together with samples of acoustic instruments. The perfectly titled “Mountains and Clouds” evokes a moving stillness bathed in fog, a sound that Greinke has been perfecting over several decades, the changes within this beautiful six-minute piece move at a truly glacial pace. The 12-minute closing title track evokes the sounds and feelings of night, with flute, horn, baritone sax, and violin floating through the electronic textures and piano accents, like the shapes of muted colors and subtle powers emerging from the fringes of darkness. Make no mistake, this is relaxing music, be it a ticket to slumberland or a way to start your day without stress. Another excellent release from a master of organic structures.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Lesli Dalaba, James DeJoie, Jeff Greinke

More info
http://ambientelectronic.bandcamp.com/album/before-sunrise

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic - 2001 Live Birds – Since the moment I first heard Magnetic Flip around twenty years ago, I’ve been a fan of this band, and have followed their progress with pleasure, enjoying each new phase as much as the previous,...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues