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EABS (an acronym for Electro-Acoustic Beat Sessions) is an award-winning future-jazz septet based in Wroclaw, Poland. Their sound is a myriad, idiosyncratic meld of traditional Polish jazz injected with hip-hop, jungle, funk, turntablism, free improvisation, gospel, electronic music, and modern composition. They have created a very personal brand of modern jazz. EABS have created their unique compositions by employing an approach that exercises the concept of "reconstruction from deconstruction," where sampling and looping are merged with jazz improvisations. Repetitions (Letters to Krysztof Komeda), their 2017 debut long-player, brashly re-imagined some of the famed composer's lesser-known works from 1962 to 1967 through the lens of their influences; they established a sophisticated, beat-conscious hybrid sound that instantly placed them in the foreground of the new European jazz movement alongside Ruby Rushton, Ezra Collective, Comet Is Coming, Yussef Kamaal, and others. U.K. saxophonist and flutist Tenderlonious joined the group for 2018's Kraksa/Svantetic EP and the following year's Slavic Spirits. They released the full length Discipline of Sun Ra in 2020. The band was formed in Wroclaw in 2011. The EABS acronym stands for "Electo-Acoustic Beat Sessions." Their lineup includes Marek Pędziwiatr (keyboard, vocals), Marcin Rak (drums), Vojto Monteur (electric guitar), Paweł Stachowiak (bass guitar), Olaf Węgier (saxophone), Jakub Kurek (trumpet), and Maciej Jakimiuk (sound engineer). Their most recent member is Spisek Jednego (record players) who replaced turntablist and sampler Piotr Skorupski (aka One Conspiracy). Initially, they were more an idea than a band, a "reconstruction of a deconstruction," that was performed in tribute to Black music culture, from jazz to hip-hop: Ahmad Jamal, Gil Scott-Heron, J Dilla, Pete Rock, Miles Davis, etc. These players grew up with hip-hop, not jazz, as their primary influence. Jazz came later as some of its the players -- who were also music students -- delved into the sampled sources from many of their favorite rap records. For two years they rehearsed and theorized; they played their first live gigs in 2013 when they were chosen by the press as "Wrocław Artistic Discovery" of the year taking home the WARTO prize. In 2016, released the globally acclaimed Puzzle Mixtape on Astigmatic, that also included spots from Coultrain, Ben Lamar Gay, Jeru the Damaja, and Paulina Przybysz. They signed to the label, issued Repetitions (Letters to Krzysztof Komeda) in 2017, and began performing its music live. Gilles Peterson fell in love with the record and played it; other London and Berlin DJs added it to their programs as well. They won the Mateusz Prize for the album, awarded by Channel 3 of the Polish Radio. EABS toured behind the record and a year later issued Repetitions (Letters to Krzysztof Komeda) Live at Jazz Club Hipnoza (Katowice). That same year, they teamed with Tenderlonious for the 25-minute two-track original EP Kraksa/Svantetic, and did some live work together in Europe before entering the studio to begin work on a follow-up. The musicians (including Tenderlonious) turned to Slavic mythology and Polish demonology, all the while pondering the contemporary spiritual condition of Poles. The enigmatic "Slavic melancholy" provided the main inspiration for 2019's Slavic Spirits, that endeavored to get in touch with the world of a lost, long-ago culture that could not, in their estimation, ever be thoroughly explored. In October 2019, after more than 33 years, a recorded concert of the Sun Ra Arkestra's initial visit to Poland was finally released to the public. For this occasion, EABS prepared a special commemorative concert devoted exclusively to his compostions. That show inspired the recording of 2020's Discipline of Sun Ra; it featured revisioned versions of his compositions from 1957-1979.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo
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