Using the loop as more of a tool than a rule, Ezekiel Honig's emotively warm electronic-acoustic music nestles into a comfortable, shared space between melodic, event-driven ambient, muted techno, textural downtempo, and slowmotion house. Using these genres as reference points from which to stray, Honig uses everyday objects and spaces amidst processed instruments, tethering to our physical universe while eschewing any concerns of figurative reality. Plastic, metal, wood, and air coalesce with Rhodes, guitar, horns, and piano, creating a sound of contrast and contradiction, pairing inviting, fuzzy chords with clunky and dirty mishaps. Honig finds this sense of balance - of past and future, acoustic and digital, abstraction and concrete immediacy - by grounding himself in the idea that a sound can be a representation of infinite stories, emotions, possibilities, and simultaneously be just a sound to be used in a work of audio.
Ezekiel Honig - Surfaces of a Broken Marching Band - Anticipate 006
released October 2008 - CD / digital
Further developing his musique concrete influenced compositional procedure of giving emphasis to the sounds of everyday life, Honig constructs his music out of an almost incidental assembly of materials, editing and processing them into a whole which adopts the shards as if they always belonged. The low hum of a pad and ground-skimming percussion noise play off brightly distended piano chords, thick, wheezing horns, and widespread constellations of re-pitched guitar. Playing with looping and lateral progressions alike, Honig subtly hints at his background, while utilizing a broader palette of instrumentation than on his past releases.
Softly chugging 4/4 rhythms barely nod towards muted slow-motion techno, while reworked structures retain his characteristically warm, textured sound. In this manner he delves into electro-acoustics with a sensibility that includes elements of clearly defined genres, while allowing those definitions to quickly dissipate. These varied approaches and sources allow for the building of a constant tension between an intrinsic affinity for humid melodies and darker tonal shades, congealing into tracks which feel simultaneously minimal and dense, leaving one to pick at the layers while acknowledging them as a single sound.
This music is imbued with an intimacy created by opening the spectrum to include sounds from crowded parties in cavernous spaces, subway stations, the interiors of an airliner and other geographic departures. When in the context of music which feels so close-up, these sounds create a contrast to the at-homeness which Honig usually plays on, and this proximity gives them more weight, as the harmonics of melodic fragments and location-based recordings rummage through and across each other.
As the title suggests, the album is visualized as a loosely composed band that has fallen apart and been puzzled back together, with careful attention paid to the background details, which are brought as much to the forefront as any instrumental piece. Rather than a rhythm section taking a strict lead, it seemingly plays backbeat as it brushes up against the rattle of metal, wood and plastic from which it happens to be constructed. In this manner, Honig inspects the surfaces that were previously hidden - the sounds that required breaking in order to exist.