Thursday, 20 March 2014

EYOT - Gothic wonder & darkness

Dejan Ilijic - keys
The shortness of this review reflects just the 40 minutes afforded to us at the Jazz Café earlier this month (05/03/2014) to absorb the Serbian raiders EYOT.

Marko Stojiljkovic - bass
The dark stage was punctuated in pools of purple light and it suited this four piece who were spread wide in the crepuscular atmosphere. With just four tunes to pin both my sketches and impressions I will dispense with long annotations of the compositions themselves and start directly with EYOT's spokesman. The stubbled Dejan Ilijic was often stooped in the shadows as he hunched over his keyboard. His dark handsome aura was very much reflected in the music, which was as powerful as his ox like shoulders. His driving piano interposed with melodic loops created much of the levity in EYOT's performance. Those of us who occupied the front rows, and I stood next to legendary Jazz-face Steve Marchant, felt the bellyache vocal murmurs of Ilijic in our very guts. Without amplification these base rumbles created a background wave of humanity amongst the sea of electronica.

Sladjan Milenovic - guitar
There were large sections of the set that were dominated by the guitars of Sladjan Milenovic and Marko Stojiljkovic. These led to an air of cutting and rasping penetration. Despite his stature or maybe because of it Stojiljkovic played with head  bowed, it lifted and nodded repeatedly like one of the humorous dogs in the rear window of a car. In contrast Milos Vojvodic lifted his into the air, his long face rising above his drum kit as though savouring a sweet smell.

Milos Vojvodic - drums
The overall effect of EYOT was a balancing act between heavy looped motifs and playful melodies. There was a real force behind them, driving like a battering ram at times, it swept to and fro, with a rhythm that was reflected in their final tune's Balkan beat. It was modern medieval jazz, raw and uncut in the main with flashes of sophisticated beauty, like being transfixed by the hidden complexities of a gargoyle whilst standing in the shadow of a gothic cathedral. Wonder and darkness.


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