Thursday, August 13, 2009

Groupshow - the Martyrdom of Groupshow

The Martyrdom of Groupshow
(2009, Scape)
RIYL = Matmos, Eric Copeland, Black Dice

Groupshow is something of a German electronic super group boasting membership of Jan Jelinek, Hanno Leichtmann and Andrew Pekler. Pekler and Leichtmann actually worked as a backing band for Jelinek on tour which is, I’m assuming, how the trio formed under the single creative entity. If you are familiar with any of their work individually, you’re probably not going to be surprised by the fact that Groupshow’s electronics are weird, but weird in the best possible way. The trio’s improvisations turn into slightly off kilter pop tracks that usually revolve around the 3 minute mark, not too long or too brief to fully flesh out their alien skin. And if you were ever to imagine what pop music is to aliens, I imagine Groupshow is a pretty good possibility. The Martyrdom of Groupshow is filled with piles and piles of various odd synthesizer tones, blips, hums and beats, all scattered around and yet scattered into some type of symmetry that assures to never feel random. There is a cohesive thread here that pulls the oddity through for human consumption. I haven’t heard any of Leichtmann’s solo work, but in comparison to Pekler’s and Jelinek’s, The Martyrdom of Groupshow isn’t quite to standard, but as a testament to how high those standards are, Groupshow’s debut is definitely up there as far as my favourite electronic albums of the year and seems to be getting better and better the more I listen to it. Certainly it is a worthy stopgap between the time we wait for something new from each artist as an individual and, assuming they continue to record together, The Martyrdom of Groupshow is a stunning display of talent and potential.


Groupshow on MySpace

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