Mark Guiliana: Beat Music! Beat Music! Beat Music!

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Thursday June 13, 2019

From Jazz Journal

Mark Guiliana: Beat Music! Beat Music! Beat Music!

“Guiliana has for some years been in the vanguard of drummers who by common consent have developed a new vernacular on the instrument, blending virtuosity on an acoustic kit with artfully deployed electronic beats and computer processing. Shock horror, I hear you pure jazz hardliners exclaim ‘” this isn’t real music, and it certainly isn’t jazz. To which one might respond: define your terms and criteria ‘” if you can.

Clearly aware of how easy it is to be labelled as this or that kind of musician, he mines a musical sound palette which despite its precise formatting and programming paradoxically liberates him from being straitjacketed, enabling free expression to prodigious talent. Playing drums with computer-like precision, Guiliana eschews loops and programmed beats for the human touch, while bringing some of the most talented and innovative musical minds to the Beat Music collective.

His electric band produces hard-edged grooves and synthetic-organic fusions blended with the atmospherics of film music and the spoken word. The music is driven by Guiliana’s sonic inventiveness and virtuosity not just on acoustic kit, his primary instrument, but also synthesiser and electronics. He often says how much his work as drummer and composer have been inspired by electronic music. Hearing Aphex Twin made him associate with hearing Elvin Jones and Coltrane, and Squarepusher’s Feed Me Weird Things hit him in a similar way to when he first heard Tony Williams with Miles. Experiencing that electronic music, he says ‘was just as profound’ as hearing those jazz drumming icons”

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