Friday, September 24, 2021

EFG Trio, Transliminal Rites, Eyal Maoz, Frank London, Guy Barash


You can never be sure what is next, be it in music or anything else. But surprise can be good sometimes. That's how I feel about the EFG Trio and their album Transliminal Rites (Orenda  0090). It is some very together outside free improvisational music with Eyal Maoz on guitar, Frank London on trumpet and Guy Barash on live electronics.

Now if you are like me you form in your mind what such an album might sound like. The interesting thing is that you listen and it does NOT easily fit into what you might expect, no Derek Bailey bloops and Evan Parker torrents, nothing in the live electronics you might have heard a few years ago.

It is boldly original in other words. It is very inventive, unexpected in its sonic palette, unusual in what the trio chooses to do. Eyal alters his guitar signal in interesting ways. Sometimes you have to remind yourself that you are hearing guitar and electronics together, other times Eyal makes the guitar sound more guitar-ish, and that too in ways that keep your interest. What is true of Eyal's work here is true also of London and his trumpet and Barash and his electronics. 

That fact helped me decide to post this review here in the Gapplegate Music Review rather than the Gapplegate Guitar blog, where I have reviewed a fair number of Maoz sides, quite gladly in fact. Here it is the blend of the threesome that prevails and so it will get the attention of guitarists, sure, but also anyone who is up for avant improv electronics.

That this was recorded in New York City makes sense, for it unmistakably seems to fit in with the "hey we do not expect to do anything but scuffle so we play what we hear in spite of all that" school.

The newness of what they are up to makes it a little bit of a challenge to describe. Sound color is at the forefront and they excel at exotic and rewarding mixtures, but it is also true that they play around with tonal centers and get multiple lines going too. It is the sort of thing you need to pay attention to if you hope to understand what is up with it. Once you do, well there you are, right? I think so.

It is a rather stunningly fresh venture into the Avant Improv present. You will doubtless not mistake it for something you've heard before. And so all the better for that. I hope they record some more and keep at it with this lineup. Bravo!

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