Beaker – Beaker
(Off – ODG029, download only. Review by Joe Stoddart)
Beaker is a collaboration between Brooklyn-based composer and electronic musician Tyler Gilmore and London-based saxophonist Alec Harper. Their debut EP is “assembled upon a series of textural improvisations,” with eight tracks either called ‘Improv’ or ‘Song.’ It begins with the emphasis largely on the electronic side in the ambient soundscapes on Improv 1 and Improv 2, before Harper takes on more of a central role on Song 1 in which, as with the other ‘Song’ contributions, there is a shift towards a slightly more beat-orientated approach under a mixture of melodious and exploratary saxophone sounds.
I would strongly recommend listening to the whole EP as one piece of music but for me Song 2 provides the highlight of the record. A sparse, lurching beat provides the background for intermittent lush chords under saxophone textures before disappearing through delay and reverb into silence.
Overall, the record is a successful starting point for the duo, giving a good impression of the pair’s sound and musical objectives.