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De Beren Gieren – ‘What Eludes Us’

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    Posted: 04 Apr 2024 at 1:04pm

 De Beren Gieren – What Eludes Us
(SDBan Ultra – Album review by Peter Slavid)


DE BEREN GIEREN - What Eludes Us cover


De Beren Gieren is an extremely adventurous Belgian trio, which on the surface looks like a piano trio. The musicians are Fulco Ottervanger on piano and synth, bass player Lieven Van Pée and drummer Simon Segers. All three musicians list electronica as well.

The band started in 2009, and their previous albums have all been distinctive and a bit quirky. Their reputation as one of the most innovative of Belgian bands is well deserved. When I reviewed their last album “Less is Endless” in 2021 (Review here) I described their music as having “clever but discreet use of electronic effects, sometimes hardly discernible, as an enhancement of the background riffs.”

With this new album things have turned around. The album was produced in Norway with Jørgen Træen, electronica artist and producer. The electronic effects here are no longer discreet, they are always discernible and very much at the core of the music. The tight interaction between the musicians remains, making this as before a genuine trio that’s greater than the sum of the parts.

Almost everything in the album is effected by the electronics. The track “The Houses” was issued some time ago as a single and is fairly typical. It starts with a bass infused drum rhythm that pervades the whole track. Over it an ethereal sound develops into a melody that could easily be the result of a radiophonic workshop sequel to the Doctor Who theme. The riff continues behind a short melody from the piano, then a few chords, then more electronics push dramatically towards a conclusion.  

On some tracks there are squeaks and scratches, on others the piano sounds more like a harpsichord. There are parts that sound genuinely cinematic – rather like the lost soundtrack from a slightly surreal spaghetti western.

This is not an album for fans of the conventional piano trio. The improvisation here is as much to do with the sound as it is to do with harmony or melody. De Beren Gieren have taken the trio well beyond the innovations of EST and into some quite new areas. We can only watch with interest to see what comes next.

Peter Slavid broadcasts a programme of European Jazz on mixcloud.com/ukjazz and various internet stations

LINK: Bandcamp 

from https://londonjazznews.com 



Edited by snobb - 04 Apr 2024 at 1:04pm
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