Elliott Sharp/ bands and solo projects / TECTONICS

ELLIOTT SHARP : bands & solo projects : tectonics

TECTONICS is the name under which Sharp currently performs his solo electroacoustic music. The concerts are performed on the 8-string guitarbass, a laptop running Ableton Live, Max/MSP and a variety of processing and sampler applications, and various electronically-processed horns. The TECTONICS program has been performed in Berlin, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Paris, Brussels, Lyon, Zurich, Kyoto, Ljubljana, Bern, and Vienna. Errata, the third CD of Sharp's TECTONICS project was released in 1999, pushing the envelope of modern electronica and delving deeply into radically mutated dance rhythms. Long out-of-print, Errata has recently been reissued by the Neos label in Munich. The most recent Tectonics CD, Abstraction Distraction, was released in 2010 by the French label, d'autres cordes.

Harvey Pekar writes:
A major figure in New York's downtown scene for years, Elliott Sharp has experimented relentlessly with electronics over the course of his career. He's more recently started using computers and invented instruments, the most well-known of which is the guitarbass. He's a multi-instrumentalist who also plays percussion and saxophone -- but don't let any of that intimidate you. Sharp's work is pretty accessible. His innovative efforts have concentrated on producing unusual textures and timbres, but he employs familiar devices too: infectious rhythms, steady tempos. His works, for all their newness in some areas, are lucidly constructed, logically paced, and full of interesting dynamic and textural contrasts.

On this multilayered disc, Sharp plays all of the instruments. He's got a huge palette from which to choose, given the electronic equipment at his disposal. But Sharp isn't just experimenting. He's making music and is selective about what he puts into it. In fact, his orchestration, if it can be called that, is pretty lean, and he builds his pieces gradually, creating ambiences rather than jumping abruptly from one thing to another. Some of these tracks have a hypnotic quality, something like Indian music. There's also a free jazz influence here.

If you haven't heard Sharp's work, you should. He's created his own style, and although he continues to refine it, his achievements to date have already had considerable impact and will continue to do so for some time.