Put simply, Elektro Guzzi is a three-man-band that makes techno-inspired music with instruments like guitars, bass and drums. Founded in 2004, the trio from Vienna have spent a while getting their sound up to speed. They released their debut album in May 2010 on the Berlin-based label Macro, and have since been well-received in the electronic music scene, playing at various festivals such as Sonar, Time Warp and Austria’s Springfestival. Their analogue methods take on the electronic genre by stripping it down – no laptops, no loops or samples, just instruments – and it is an experimental, organic approach that is best-appreciated live.
Their latest album, Parquet, features dark, tribal beats, recorded entirely live on tape. I’ve got nothing but respect for the trio and the way they skillfully build repetitive, dancefloor-worthy rhythms. As mentioned in an interview, their music is not an attempt to “substitute electronically-produced music or oppose it”, and instead stems from their desire to explore and their enthusiasm for producing techno music. Whatever it is – I might be imagining things – there certainly is a sense of pure soul and depth in their live harmony of sound.
‘Affumicato’ kicks things off, hooking listeners with its hypnotic beat. It builds a haunting, beautiful pulse that leads into ‘Pentagonia’, which hints of a rock-influenced sound, but is undeniably structured as a techno track.
From here on, it’s a steady, alluring ride. ‘Vertical Axis’, and ‘Redford’ really deliver the full thrust of the album, the deep sounds of percussion punching through repetitive guitar licks and basslines.
Elektro Guzzi speak of the importance of finding harmony in the music that they play together, rather than simply employing, for instance, a ‘perfect’ drum machine loop. It’s a dedicated effort to go back to the “formal characteristics” of music – the human aspect, consciously exploring the different sounds that each instrument can make, and intertwining everything to build strength in sound. Parquet is an energetic step up from their self-titled debut album in 2010, and an unconventional and fresh piece of work that deserves a thorough listen, for all techno - and even post-rock - fans.
Preview the entire album here, or stream it here. Enjoy the journey.
05. Vertical Axis
09. Side Dandy