Exposé Online banner

Kotebel — Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble
(Musea FGBG4874, 2011, CD+DVD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-04-01

Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble Cover artOpening this latest offering from Carlos Plaza's Kotebel is the 43-minute, four part title suite, which is ostensibly a piece of serious symphonic music arranged for piano (played by Adriana Nathalie Plaza Engelke) and electronic keyboards (Carlos Plaza), with the remainder of the band (drums, acoustic and electric guitars, bass) supporting this all-instrumental effort brilliantly. The piece is nearly overwhelming on the first listen, but thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless. After several spins, the nuances and subtleties, as well as the labyrinthine nature of this massive composition begin to reveal themselves. After a dozen plays in preparation for this review, I'm still hearing new things each time. The companion DVD goes into the making of this piece, and is a nice supplement, but ultimately "Concerto" stands strong on its own, and they could have ended the album here, but there are four more tracks totaling another 24 minutes tacked on to the end, including a seven-minute instrumental cut from 2008, perhaps a left-over from their last album Ouroboros. Curiously missing in the proceedings here are the band’s singer and flute player, though a guest sax player is featured on some of the later cuts, turning in some powerful solos and interplay with the guitarist. All taken, this is a mightily impressive musical achievement, full of magnificence and refinement, compositional complexity, subtle melodic shades and powerful dynamics. It's all here.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 40, 2011 releases

Related artist(s): Kotebel

Latest news

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Disjunkt & Awkward Star – New York and Chicago aren’t the only American cities with avant jazz scenes – Seattle has quite a bit to offer. In addition to the big names like Bill Frisell and Wayne Horvitz who have relocated...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues