By: Anand Harsh
We first became familiar with Dan Gruszka through his many-pieced electronic outfit Liquid Monk. The ensemble assembles jazz and fusion influences into bright and bold dance music gems. In fact, Yaga, was one of our favorite releases of last fall, coming out almost exactly a year ago. We return again this September with Daniel Monk's solo record, 1121.
What Gruszka is able to do on the solo tip is work within that space that a five or six piece would be fighting to fill. Patient and mournful, the 4-track EP contains all the brilliance of a full band, but the singular vision of just one guy. It's the wistful melancholy of Chrome Sparks and Ulrich Schnauss wrapped up into the dusty husk of Detroit on a chilly night.
Opener "Kite View" premiered recenty on Berlin's Bad Panda. ISLA's gorgeous vocals are smeared generously over minimal, synth-driven ephemera. Daniel Monk ain't in no hurry. He lingers over every turn of phrase and breath. Fuck waves, it's all about layers.
"August First" and "Cadence" both build chill cathedrals along the lines of Bonobo or Frameworks. Subtle stringwork decorates a pulsing beat the builds and breaks effortlessly. The EP's closer "Allora" returns us back to the lacy space of ambience until the earthen drums drive us back into a rhythm. Violinist Erin Zindle (The Ragbirds) adds a seductive and haunting melody right on top that will rattle around in your brain long after the record has run its course.
If it's a reflective, introspective space you're looking to inhabit, 1121 is your trusted realtor who can guide you right into that mindframe. Catch Gruszka in his home state October 14th when Liquid Monk joins GOSH PITH at The Loving Touch in Ferndale, Michigan. Until then, the EP will be by your side.
The functionality you are trying to use is for members only. Would you like to sign in?