Elektro Guzzi – Allegro EP

People are rude about Elektro Guzzi because they use guitars drums and feedback but whatever really – its pretty hard to tell because they make enjoyable techno/house ..and Berghain agrees. Their releases up until now (self titled in 2010, Parquet 2011) are excellent although somewhat more minimal and deep than this release.

Allegro has four tracks but is quite a lengthy for an EP, tracks two and three are nine and seven minutes long respectively, can they hold your attention span though?

‘Fat Pony’ drops strait in with a compressed bassy groove and harmonics over the top, the beat is under the bass in kick form, but is at its most audible in the hi-hats. The occasional bright, sharp chords that shake through the track do make this notably different from electonically-made house and techno. The main groove and body of this track are solid but the harmonics and jangles from what must be a guitar don’t necessarily add to it as much as anticipated. Still, not a bad track at all.

‘High Noon’ is probably the most ambitious of the tracks on here for its length alone. This had a nice driving, rolling bass and light, varied percussion track. The bass is heavy-duty and really mechanical sounding, like hydraulics. There are some looped shimmering sounds that come in over the top of this, panning around and drawing in some picked chords that come in from the back and from of the mix. ‘High Noon’ does progress well though, some more parts enter the bass and rhythm that slowly diversify with the drum track and the melody does modulate and alter well. By about eight minutes this is a different track which is desirable, the kick obviously remains but a loose snare pattern enters and the melody/sounds over the top become more feedback and opaque.

‘Asteroid’ is the most ‘club’ sounding track on this EP, the big kick paired with toned wood/jam blocks leave a lot of space in between that is filled with a big but noisy combination of bass and pitch bending and tactile, staccato chords. This develops though and the bass and beat evolve swaying through different settings, but kept in place by the percussion that includes shakers. Towards the end the bass takes on a wobble that could have come earlier because it’s a good addition to the track overall. This isn’t the best track on here but it is impressive considering how it is made.

‘Jangu’ is immediately more techno, the beat is distinctly driving and there is more subtlety in the composition including more textures and sounds. But, then this quite simple steel drum groove comes which is a bit off putting. However, it picks up a bit and becomes more interesting along the way, becoming a more complex and diverse (it’s slightly reminiscent of Battles ‘Gloss Drop’ as a result). This track is just a bit too quick, the sounds themselves are fine but the tempo pushes it along faster than it need be pushed.

This is a fun EP. There are some good components on here, the bass is solid and the composition is good. It didn’t come together as well as Elektro Guzzi’s previous releases for me – ‘High Noon’ is the star of the show – but it’s still good and I still badly want to see this band live.

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