FRANCESCO TRISTANO: Idiosynkrasia (InFiné)


Posted on Nov 15th 2010 01:12 am

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Francesco Tristano: Idiosynkrasia

InFiné 2010
09 Tracks. 66mins49secs

Amazon UK: CD US: CD Boomkat: DLD iTunes: DLD

A very talented young musician (he was born in 1981), Francesco Tristano Schlimé, to give his full name, moved to New York in 2000 to study at the prestigious Juilliard School, then went on to perform with the Russian National Orchestra. Tristano specialises in Baroque music and founded The New Bach Players ensemble in 2001, with whom he has recorded a number of classical works since. But, while in New York, Tristano also found a love for much more contemporary forms of music, even leading him to regularly deejay at various clubs in the city. Once back in Europe, he brought his love of classical music and techno together by developing a very personal style, which resulted in his non-classical debut album, Not For Piano, released in 2007 on the then fledging InFiné imprint, on which he revisited a number of electronic classics, including Rhythim Is Rhythim’s Strings Of Life, Jeff Mills’s The Bells or Autechre’s Overand, on the piano. With his follow up, Auricle Bio On, produced by Moritz Von Oswald, released a year later, Tristano created a very different piece of work, centered around two progressive and complex pieces set somewhere between musique concrète, minimal composition, abstract jazz and minimal techno. Beside his solo work, Tristano is also a member of Aufgang, a project formed with fellow Juilliard student and pianist Rami Khalifé and drummer Aymeric Westrich. The trio released their self-titled debut album last year.

Recorded in Carl Craig’s Planet E studios in Detroit, Idiosynkrasia is a more straightforward and accessible affair than its predecessor. While he made the most of the extensive space his chosen format afforded him on Auricle Bio On, Tristano opts here for much shorter compositions. This forces him to remain very focussed and get to the point much quicker. There are still here some of the angular approach that fueled his previous album, but it is kept under much tighter control, as demonstrated right from the opening piece, Mambo. Based on a dry bass loop, limited melodic sequences, occasional environmental noises and electronic textures, this is quite a sombre and reflective piece which doesn’t quite at first appear to make the most of its inherent hypnotic quality, yet repeat listens bring this aspect into focus much clearly, especially when Tristano uses the body of his instrument for percussion, adding an organic element to his otherwise somewhat restricted sound pool.

This fairly minimal set up is declined in a variety of ways, from the delicate Wilson, which progresses from delicate altered piano sounds towards a more refined melodic and rhythmic structure, and the hectic and fragmented Single And Doppio to the more linear Idiosynkrasia and Fragrance De Fraga, the former echoing some of the dark undertones of Mambo but given a much more polished appearance with sustained electronics, the latter, propelled by softer rhythmic patterns, showing much more restraint. Eastern Market, later, is given a rather definite nineties feel with swift keyboard brushes. Elsewhere, Tristano goes for resolutely more atmospheric settings, dropping any rhythmic element to focus on wonderful cinematic melodies (Nach Wasser Noch Erde) or moody introversion (Lastdays).

Clocking at eleven and a half minutes, closing piece Hello (Inner Space Dub) is the undeniable piece de resistance here, but, unlike the extended compositions he experimented with on Auricle Bio On, Tristano never veers far from the piano patterns he develops right from the start, although these take on a more hypnotic form in the latter part of the track.

Idiosynkrasia is a broader record than its predecessor in that it incorporates a much wider set of moods. While this is at times to the detriment of the overall feel of the whole work, Francesco Tristano takes on an entirely new challenge once again, fully justified thanks to his faultless musicianship and vision.


Francesco Tristano | Francesco Tristano (MySpace) | InFiné
Amazon UK: CD US: CD Boomkat: DLD iTunes: DLD

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