Somnambule - Writing About Music

As One ~ Elegant Systems

Praise be for second impressions. Elegant Systems initially sounded to this listener worryingly like easy listening. Perseverance, however, paid ample dividends. Kirk Degiorgio’s work rate is one of rushes and lulls - like the proverbial London bus nothing appears for ages then along come a whole herd. Elegant Systems follows hard on the heels of Out Of The Darkness, an album that mixed together elements of hiphop, broken beat, techno and soul to produce an attractive affair that proved to be significantly more mainstream than its predecessors.

Elegant Systems concentrates upon one ingredient of that cocktail by exploring Degiorgio’s longrunning love affair with Detroit Techno. His passion for this once innovative form can be traced back to his 1990 visit to the Transmat, Metroplex and KMS studios in the Motor City at the invitation of Derrick May. In the intervening decade and a half he’s created a wide-ranging oeuvre blending techno with other favoured musics including 70s electric and spiritual jazz. With this latest release there’s little distraction from the music’s central focus, apart from the odd broken beat here and there. The result is a gorgeous set full of rich melodicism and an understated sense of optimistic futurism. Titles such as “This Precious Life”, “Magical Thinking” and “Luca’s Smile” underline this feeling which lies at some distance from the clatter and strangeness of earlier works such as 1997’s Planetary Folklore. Elegant Systems proves to be an apt title: the music is rhythmically complex, intricately detailed and beautifully poised. It’s a mature work that may not immediately demand attention, but if given a chance, will gradually insinuate itself into the listener’s consciousness. Guarenteed to slowly release the right dopamines to your neural pleasure centres.
Colin Buttimer
July 2005
Published by e/i magazine