Recommended: Peuker8 – “Influx”


Listening passively, it’s easy to gain the impression that this is an indie-rock album.  There’s the deep dives on melody, the quirky changes in cadence, the proclivity to stretch the defining shape of song structure… and there’s a guitar at the center of it all.  But immersing oneself into the depths of Influx, other influences immediately become clear, and it’s not long before they reveal themselves as the driving factor of this fascinating release from Peuker8.

While Paul Peuker‘s guitar does keep center stage for most of the recording, it’s the sound and motion of his octet’s other members that attract a majority of the attention.  The inclusion of a string trio brings the modern classical element to the forefront, and how the bass and drums rhythm section mirror their flight patterns and etch the tempo into their harmonic surface is a big reason why the strings maintain a focused intensity.  Some electric guitar burn pairs nicely with a saxophone that is equally adept at growling as issuing out a contented sigh.  And, notably, pianist Clemens Christian Pötzsch deftly applies his talent at bringing a contemplative quality to music emitting a jolt of electricity.  Through these interactions, the modern European jazz influence emerges, as does the modern scene’s emphasis on composition as the strong guiding hand of improvisation.

It’s also one of the stronger releases to hit the shelves in 2018.  The WhyPlayJazz label is having an impressive year of new releases.

Your album personnel:  Paul Peuker (guitar), Clemens Christian Pötzsch (piano), Mark Weschenfelder (saxophone), Alina Gropper (violin), Filip Sommer (viola), Elisabeth Coudoux (cello), Eugen Rolnik (bass), Florian Lauer (drums) and guest: Sissi Rada (vocals).

Released on WhyPlayJazz.

Listen to more of the album at the artist’s Bandcamp page.

Music from Berlin, Germany.

Available at:  Bandcamp | Amazon