Goran Kajfeš’ Tropiques: A two-night performance at Underflow
Goran Kajfeš Tropiques & Christer Bothén
support group /Nikos Veliotis – solo amplified cello
ticket - 20 euro
Goran Kajfeš - Trumpet, Moog synthesizer
Alex Zethson - Piano, Prophet synthesizer, Korg ms20
Johan Berthling - Double bass
Johan Holmegard - Drums
Christer Bothén - bass clarinet and donso n’goni
Underflow presents:Goran Kajfeš' Tropiques
The swedish ensemble Goran Kajfeš Tropiques, started performing as a quartet in 2011, when Kajfeš was commissioned to compose and perform music to a performance by swedish modern dance company Vindhäxor. Since then, the group has evolved in its own ways and independently from, yet influenced by, the experience of creating music together with movements of dance.
The result is a minimalist, groove-based music which explores slowly built-up forms, mantra-like ostinatos, melodic improvisations and a rich variation of electro-acoustic textures. A music that might be labeled as hypno-jazz. The debut release Enso (Headspin recordings 2017), consisting of one 50-minute long track, was internationally celebrated (see review-excerpts below).
For this tour, Tropiques are joined by no one else then legendary bass clarinetist and donso n´goni-player Christer Bothén, known for his collaborations with Don Cherry and Frank Lowe. His deep experience of free jazz, as well as decades of profound studies of West African Mande hunters music and studies of Gnaoua-music in Marocco, he blends in perfectly with the ensemble and takes the music of Tropiques to another level.
This expanded version of Tropiques will perform at Underflow for two nights: one night having as a point-of-departure the music of Enso; the other night performing new material that will be released during 2019. All in all, two nights of sonic journeys which lets the listener dive into and explore different, transcending state of minds – while dancing, sitting or laying down in the soundwaves of the room, and beyond...
Excerpts from reviews of Enso (Headspin recordings, 2017)
”Built around a central, minimal organ figure played by Alexander Zethson on a vintage 1970s Crumar electric keyboard, Enso glides through a series of discrete yet connected movements: from an elegiac opening fanfare, through deep, smokily downtempo jazz hung on Johan Berthling’s ponderous double bass, and on into a breathlessly racing rampage, with Johan Holmegard’s drums skipping along like a school of flying fish just breaking the surface. Later, Kajfes gleefully goes full prog, with a bubbling, circular riff, crazed Moog solo and Don Cherry-style trumpet ricochets firing off like tracer bullets in the night. With luck, this hypnotic and immersive trip signals good things to come.”
– Daniel Spicer, Wire
”Listening to Enso is meant to be a significant experience, a throwback to the time when we actually sat down and paid attention to music -all the way through. Kajfes builds this piece much like the Australian trio The Necks slowly construct their performances. From a crawl, the faux minimalism builds momentum slowly. References to Miles Davis are filtered through the same lens Jon Hassell employs in his Fourth Worlds music. Tropiques' unending groove creates a trance-state where you'd swear you hear The Who's "Teenage Wasteland (Baba O`Riley)" or was it "Magic Bus"? Yeah, the music is that mesmerizing. Like a prescription mediciation warning, your listening experience might be totally different.)”
– Mark Corrotto, allaboutjazz
”Drummer Johan Holmegard and bassist Johan Berthling build massive, rolling grooves, and their hypnotic ostinatos and shuffling beats give keyboardist Alexander Zethson lots of space to move among spacey organ explorations, post-McCoy Tyner chordal frenzies, and expansive improvisations. The music intermingles ethereal prog rock and propulsive, trance-inducing minimalism—as much Philip Glass or Steve Reich as Weather Report or Miles—with occasional passages of lovely serenity where the woody tone of Berthling's bass resonates amid mewling keyboards. Kajfes blows extended lines on both acoustic and electronically manipulated trumpet and serves up woozy, wildly wending Moog synthesizer improvisations.”
– Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader