Elektro Guzzi: Elektro Guzzi (CD, Macro, June 2010)

I’m generally suspicious of live techno: without that machine-tooled precision, it can end up muddy and uninteresting: you wanted vorsprung durch technik and you got a touch of the Flintstones. And this is very live: there’s a guitarist, and a bassist, and a drummer, and it they are (the sleeve proudly states) recorded without overdubs. The producer in charge of keeping all this together is Patrick Pulsinger, which gave me some hope as his collaboration with Elektro Guzzi was a highlight for me on his own Impassive Skies record.

So, does it work? I think it does, so long as you turn it up loud enough. Somehow, it needs a bit of volume to make it pop. The key, for me, is Bernard Breuer’s drumming. It doesn’t have the intensity of, say 65daysofstatic (though that’s not entirely live). But it has an intricacy and, yes, precision which boggles the mind (and is, I’m sure, a testament to Pulsinger’s talents too). There’s a tribal feel to it which makes for great immersive headphone listening. Melodically, it’s quite minimal, often relying on a circling bass riff. There are clearly a lot of effects pedals at work, and the guitars are largely providing a darkly atmospheric setting for the propulsive beats. I do find the more restrained tracks a little ignorable, but overall it’s an involving and rewarding listen.

I bought this from Juno.

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