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EBSK. Space: 2003 / Deep Red. 3"CDR
EBSK, a duo consisting of Eric Bruns (Clarinet, Bass Guitar)
and John Rickman (Casio SK-1s, Casio SK-5s), have been
bridging the indie-rock underground and the electronic
listening crowd with their live shows up and down the
east coast. Combining structured melody with a touch of
sonic improvisation, the EBSK sound merges the aesthetics
of ambient music with the potency of psychedelic free-rock.
EBSK's 1st single for Scarcelight (SLR15) Secret Highways / Wobbly was described as; "a very goddam original take on contempo basement prog (or some such thing)." - Byron Coley, The Wire "inhabits an inspired interzone where lo-fi electronica, kraut, prog, & post-rock intersect" - Ron Schepper, Stylus
01. Space: 2003
|: cover by EB
Washington-based EBSK (Clarinetist and Bass Guitarist Eric Bruns and Casio SK aficionado John Rickman)
returns with a second 3-inch CDR on Scarcelight, this time a two-track set that nicely showcases the duo's
carefully calibrated fusion of indie-rock, psychedelia, post-rock, and electronica. Woozy electronic tones
bring ethereal flavour to “Space: 2003” though the tune's explorative, often ponderous comminglings of bass
fuzz and lilting, metronomic pulses also point it towards remote galaxies. In contrast to the chillier opener,
Bruns' clarinet imbues the more episodic “Deep Red” with warmth before twitchy scrapings and needle-point
flutter take over. Halfway through, a muffled horn sound initiates a placid interlude followed by a more
insistent post-rock outro of dub bass and wave-like shimmer. Though short at seventeen-minutes, the disc's
material strikes a commendable balance between improvisation and structure.
Textura December 2005
Eric Bruns and John Rickman seem to be quite comfortable within the restrictions of the 3” CD format with it’s a little over a quarter of an hour playtime, for this is the second 3” CD they are presenting to us on Scarcelight and it is either a complete step away from what they have done before or just another part of a puzzle that comprises the EBSK universe. If the latter theory is true then it promises for a large vision of music. Some of the facts are analoguous to “secret highway”, e.g. the cover artwork is closely related and there are also two separate tracks on the disk. Musically, there are some connections as well, but then there are some things that are completely different.
“Space: 2003” is a laid back, almost psychedelically grooving bass- and organ grinder with effect pedals and just a little of noise, electronic beats and digital effects thrown in for good measure. While the note-heavy bass-noodling might not be to everybodys taste and the glassy light sound of the organ might remind some people to much of dance bands on cruise ships, the control Bruns and Rickman have over the evolution and dynamic of the track is remarkable. White noise washes in and out like water hits the beach and it never ever feels as a disturbance. As if the cocktail party would go on and on in the wee morning hours and break away as soon as the clock strikes midnight, ie. long before there is any noise to be heard.
“deep red” starts off with what could be an oboe or another kind of mellow horn, together with other, more synthetical sounds, before a soft layer of electric current noise, scratches and pulsing glitches set in, in a very gentle and reduced mood, mind you. The pace and atmosphere is even more soft spoken and sensitive than before. After about three minutes a steady bass line and a slight beat evolving out of the noise ground fog wrap up the track, but before you can get into the grove, ready set for doing a ten minute trip hop analogy, the track breaks up and it is back to the oboe, some organ and other woodworks.
I have no idea for what kind of music this could be the soundtrack. Anything that works mainly on a visual level of static instead of movement; which would be completely against the basic rules of the cinematic profession. I mean a movie that freezes atmospheres in its cadres, even if there is some movement on the screen, the meaning will come from the images as a whole and not the detailed depictions on the screen. There has to be a reason the music was so damn important in Koyanisquaatsi.
In comparison to “secret highway” as well as to the other releases on Scarcelight (especially some of those also on 3”CDs e.g. Trust Riots, freiband or Violet), “space: 2003 …” is an unobtrusive, introverted and gentle piese of music, but those are also its main and redeeming qualities. For one guy standing up with a bassguitar and one guy sitting down twiddling the knobs, EBSK manage to keep interest and convey a sense of gentleness, self-centeredness (as in Zen and the art of electronic noise) and warm welcome of the world, the coming day and whatever it may bring. What else do you need?