AMN Reviews: Electronhic – Reaching Out [NHIC Records]


As its name hints, Electronhic is a group within the larger New Haven Improvisers’ Collective (NHIC) playing amplified music. The ensemble consists of two guitars, saxophone, drums and, taking the bass role, Chapman Stick. Reaching Out is a nine-track set recorded in November, 2014 in New Haven’s Firehouse 12.

Electronhic’s music is rock-based collective improvisation with a strong rhythmic component imparting drive and focus. The heart of the group’s sound is the polyphonic interplay between guitarists Bob Gorry and Jeff Cedrone. Both favor a gritty, overdriven sound that contrasts with Paul McGuire’s saxophones. In the aggregate, the three voices sounding simultaneously create a contained chaos that draws on funk—as in the loosely relaxed VCS-5; prog rock’s big chords and metric displacements, as in Enough of the Hyperbole; and even a walking line reminiscent of jazz in the title track. The archaic sound of Personent Hodie, a piece based on a medieval melody that features McGuire’s great bass recorder, is an island of relatively quiet anachronism in the middle of sometimes heavy seas. No matter what the sources of its inspiration, though, the group’s sound manages to stay uniquely its own throughout.

Daniel Barbiero