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På skive



G.E.K is the Danish, free-improvising duo of trombonist Maria Bertel, known from the groups Selvhenter and The Big YES!, and sax player-multi-instrumentalist Johannes Lund. G.E.K has been active for more than a decade, developing their own kind of explosive blowouts and massive wall of sound on their live performances.

«Mahatma» is the first, full length, long-played vinyl of G.E.K suggests a new sonic imagery. «Mahatma» refers to the Mahatma Letter («The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett», 1923) and the Russian mystic Madame Blavatsky, whose somewhat dubious legacy nonetheless offers a connection between philosophy, research and spirituality with side stories of deceit, supernatural elements and a degree of megalomania. The Mahatma Letters supposedly carried messages from the ethereal grand masters and introduced the esoteric and occult from the East in the Western world.

The sonic atmosphere of «Mahatma» flirts with the mysterious and offers enigmatic and elusive soundscapes that crisscross between the acoustic and the electronic, spiral in loose space and experimenting with elements of compression and temporality. Bertel and Lund recorded four pieces at their home and later producer Andreas Pallisgaard, who have worked before with Selvhenter (and independent projects of its musicians Anja Jacobsen, Sonja Labianca and Jaleh Negari) processed and mastered the music.

The first piece of «Mahatma» suggests a processed hallucinogenic-dreamy soundscape that slowly dives into deep, ethereal space. The second piece introduce a lyrical, poetic undercurrent of Bertel’s trombone to the meditative journey into faraway galaxies. The third piece adds to the mix Lund’s distant baritone sax and violin and charges the atmosphere with sudden, urgent and intense vibes of a free-improvised collision with Bertel’s equally restless and heavily processed trombone. The best realized piece and the most mysterious one is the last, fourth one. This piece offers an electro-acoustic, ritualistic and rich drone that gently and methodically reveal its nuanced, esoteric sonic secrets.

Eyal Hareuveni

Maria Bertel (Yamaha cs5, tb), Johannes Lund (dark energy II, vio, piano bass, bass dr, bs, bells, gongs)

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