Sunday, 14 June 2015

Eyot - Similarity, 2014

First impressions hardly change. So it is important to impress and catch a listener on the first instant. Pop music is the easiest way for this but if you are producing your music for listeners who are also looking for complexity and improvisation, what you are trying to do is one of the most challenging works of this world. Most probably since these listeners are few in numbers, although you will work harder you will earn less - not only from the album sales but also from the concerts. However -thank God- there is something called passion and enthusiasm. There always exist passionate and enthusiastic musicians like the ones in the band Eyot whose main concentration is the quality of their music. 

Eyot has been playing to be unique, improvisational, complex and melodic for more than 7 years now and they have released 3 albums. Their last album Similarity (2014) shows that they are promising more for the following ones. Their amazingly catchy compositions, which is influenced by Balkan melodies and achieved mostly by pianist Dejan Ilijic, the tension in their performances (driven mostly by guitar & bass duo) and the unique sound composed of rock-like electric textures and jazz-piano based riffs create an overall definition for the Serbian band Eyot: Dejan Ilijic (piano), Milos Vojvodic (drums), Sladjan Milenovic (guitar) and Marko Stojiljkovic (bass).

How Shall The Dust Storm Start is both a nice introduction and a summary for the whole story of the album. The composition is based on a short main theme which is repeated in melody but changed in tension and weightings of the instrument. My first impression is that electric bass gives the main rock characteristics of the sound and the guitar adds a tonal richness to the basic trio. The piano is responsible for the jazzy feeling both with its sound and improvisational characteristics. With the second track Druids, we can understand that there is something called Eyot sound. Especially the piano tone and groovy low frequency rhythm section at the back create that sound. The guest appeareance of Dejana Sekulic on violin sounds very interesting in the end. 

Improvisational power of Dejan Ilijic is demonstrated in the title track. My sixth sense tells me that he is a pianist who can be a monster on stage with energetic and lyrical attacks. He plays very comfortably both in low level and high level and his own dynamic range supplies a nice and wide pool for their friends to swim freely in. The unique guitar accompaniment -which sounds almost like a string instrument- and its contribution to the improvisation as well as to the tension are all impressive highlights. Pools of Purple Light is one of the strongest piece in the album and it waits for us as the fourth track in the middle of the album. It is again mostly concentrated on patience demanding tensional changes. The improvisational part on the piano between chorus-like parts, where guitar is the dominant character, is again at top quality. To understand what is special about the piece and how strong this band is in using the dynamic range, you have to wait till the last part, where you may feel like it is finished but Eyot starts to create the piece almost from the beginning in an amazing build-up sequence. New Passover is a short track carrying some electric jazz textures. 

Started and dominated by almost with a sound similar to the legendary rock band, Nirvana is sometimes connected to calmer parts thanks to jazzy piano which is accompanied by a psychedelic guitar, dark bass line and minimal drums movements. Left hand of the piano calls melancholy from lower octaves and the guitar sound supports this overall feeling in Walking On Thin Ice With The Iron Shoes. Some silent drum partitions which is dominated by kicks are very harmonic to the rest of the instruments. The last track Blessing sounds like a hopeful farewell with trumpet and saxophone played by Pete Judge and Jake McMurchie as guests respectively. 

Similarity is recorded, mixed, mastered and produced by Jim Barr at J&J Studios, Bristol UK. The record's overall sound quality is really nice. The label is Ninety and Nine Records. 

Eyot has many future concerts as you may follow from their website:

If you wanna hear some sample or buy the album you can again use the website. Here I am sharing a live sample from youtube: