Elektro Guzzi: Color
Palazzo Recordings

One of the primary advantages of running your own label is that new material can be released whenever you want. And so it is that Elektro Guzzi's new three-track EP materializes scant months after Achse Dachse, the debut outing from the ‘live techno' trio on its own Palazzo imprint. The playing's as tight as ever on Color, perhaps even tighter than usual in the way the various sounds work so integratedly to a shared purpose. That it is so shouldn't surprise; we're talking, after all, about an outfit that's been together since 2004, and it's probably safe to say that guitarist Bernhard Hammer, bassist Jakob Schneidewind, and drummer Bernhard Breuer now operate at a higher telepathic level than ever before.

Powered by a languorously swinging groove and squelchy synth effects, the opener “Heat Wave” stokes a relaxed, Schaffel-inflected vibe that's more comfortably warm and breezy than stultifying. In keeping with its title, the motorik “Maelstrom” hits harder, driven as it is by pounding, off-metre rhythms, slamming drum rolls, and writhing electronic treatments; as happens often in Elektro Guzzi productions, the primary emphasis is on the bottom end, with in this case the tune's high-energy throb assailed by a blizzard of effects. Less aggressive by comparison, “Compas” [sic] shows off the trio's funkier side with a strutting groove peppered by synthesizer splatter and animated by a clubby, bass-thrusting pulse. At twelve minutes, the EP's got something of a blink-and-you'll-miss-it quality to it, but that hardly argues against it. If anything, like all good short releases, it leaves you wanting more.

February 2018