Leftover Beats from the Edge of Time
The latest release from polymath and musical maximalist Gabriel Zucker is a sprawling and ambitious achievement that defies categorization, featuring complex mixed-meter jazz, virtuosic chamber music, electronic soundscapes, and indie art rock — performed with emotion and urgency by Zucker’s virtuoso large ensemble The Delegation. Written primarily between 2015 and 2018, during several stints Zucker spent living and performing in England and throughout Europe, the record reckons with time, and with the competing impulses of a backwards-looking nostalgia and a forwards-looking futurist belief in progress.
Leftover Beats is built on a dialogue between two different ensembles: Several movements are performed by a chamber ensemble, while the rest feature a larger ensemble of horns, rhythm section, and voices more firmly rooted in jazz.
The work is split into four sections of three movements each. Past is manic and alive, culminating in contrapuntal chamber-music romanticism. Autumn 2016 focuses mainly on November; the night of the election is grotesquely illustrated. Present feels subdued and chastened in its aftermath. Future is a dreamscape of synthesizer and sound collage nightmares punctuated by a Mahler-esque climax in “Requiem III,” before we close on Zucker’s solo piano in “How to Know, Forever,” drifting off into the sands of time.
Personnel & credits: piano, compositions, lyrics, vocals, electronics: Gabriel Zucker; trumpet: Adam O’Farrill (1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 10, 11); Nolan Tsang (1-11); tenor saxophone: Anna Webber (1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9-11); Eric Trudel (1, 2, 4, 6, 10-11); clarinets: Yuma Uesaka (3, 5, 8); viola: Joanna Mattrey (3, 5, 8); cello: Mariel Roberts (3, 8); vocals: Artemisz Polonyi and Lorena Del Mar (1, 2, 4, 6, 10, 11); bass: Bam Rodriguez (1, 4, 7, 9-11); Mat Muntz (2, 4, 6); drums: Gabriel Globus-Hoenich (2, 4, 6, 9); Alex Goldberg (1, 4, 7, 10, 11); Kate Gentile (3, 8); guitars: Matteo Liberatore (5); Tal Yahalom (9);
Produced by Gabriel Zucker; mixed by Gabriel Zucker, Chris Connors, and Alex Goldberg; mastered by Carl Saff; engineered by Max Ross and Ryan Streber; recorded at Systems Two (2-3 December 2017) and Oktaven Audio (20 November 2019); album art and design by Justin Neely
1 - Requiem #1 (Leftover Beats)
2 - Such Closer #1
3 - How to Keep, Forever
4 - Someone to Watch You, Parts 1-3 (September)
5 - Stage Whisper (or, The Inability to See the Present in the Present) (October)
6 - Confidence White (November)
7 - Songbird
8 - Requiem #2 (Well)
9 - Shallow Times
10 - Such Closer #2
11 - Requiem #3 (Future)
12 - How to Know, Forever (Evasiveness)
|Digital download||Choice of WAVs or MP3s|
|Compact Disk||2-CD set in digipak|