Elliot Galvin – The Influencing Machine (EN)

Elliot Galvin_piano, organ, synths
Tom McCredie_double bass & guitar
Corrie Dick_drums & percussion

NEW CD: The Influencing Machine, Edition Records, Release: January 2018




‘He reminds me of the young Django Bates, and the impression Django made on me in the 1980s – great improv chops, strong character as a player and a composer, evident love of the jazz tradition without wanting to repeat the past, very English sense of humour. He’s the kind of artist you always want to stay tuned in to, because you know he’s going to keep on coming up with surprises.’ John Fordham

The Influencing Machine is the third album by the uniquely creative mind of pianist, keyboardist and composer Elliot Galvin. A maverick musician with a vision like no other of his generation. His bold and idiosyncratic approach has seen him build a reputation as one of the rising stars of European Jazz and improvised music, alongside being a key member of the Mercury Music Prize nominated band Dinosaur. Elliot has an uncanny ability to blend a disparate world of influences, to create a truly individual musical sound where the old meets the new.

The Influencing Machine is a sonic reaction to the human mind, technology and our postmodern age, featuring bassist Tom McCredie and drummer Corrie Dick. This album sees a step forward in production and performance for Elliot. Each track is inspired by an overriding concept that also binds the album as a whole making a unique and compelling listen and taking the audience on a musical journey. It sees Elliot step forward in his sonic approach incorporating a number of electronic sounds to add to his already considerable acoustic pallet. Including analogue synthesizers, Hammond Organ, self-hacked children’s toys he found in charity shops and many more. His long-time collaborator Tom McCredie also augments his formidable double bass playing with the addition of electric guitar, topowerful effect. All tied together with the inimitable drumming of Corrie Dick.

The album takes influence from the book ‘The Influencing Machine’ by Mike Jay. It is a historical account of the life of James Tilly-Matthews, a fascinating historical figure born in 1770, a double agent between the English and the French at the time of the French civil war, a Tea merchant, political thinker, architect and first fully documented case of a paranoid schizophrenic. His life was a web of espionage and delusion, crossing paths with many of the key events of his time: the French revolution, the rise of mesmerism, and the change in societal thinking towards the mentally ill, to name just a few. He had a unique delusion that he was controlled by a machine called an Air Loom, that was operated by a gang of seven who used Ethers to remotely affect his behaviour and physical state. A uniquely imaginative creation, it was the first documented case of a machine influencing someone’s mind, a concept that seems strangely apt in the modern world. Elliot stumbled across this book whilst in the Wellcome Collection in London. He was immediately struck by a fascination with this character’s life and times and the uncanny parallels with our own modern lives, affected as they are by political turmoil and modern day ‘influencing machines’. This hugely ambitious album was written by Elliot Galvin to reflect these timely, yet seemingly timeless themes, blending sounds both old and new to reflect the chaos, the beauty, the joy and sadness of the world we live in.

Elliot Galvin is a master musical architect, constructing and manipulating musical ideas to create his desired effects. One example of this is the track ‘ Bees dog and flies’ where he harmonises an old renaissance folk melody and imaginatively blends it with West African percussive rhythms over distant, affected Hammond Organ. Or the track ‘Boys Club’ where he uses a self-hacked child’s toy guitar blended with Tom McCredie on electric guitar, layered with piano, synth and drums. All augmented by a melody that subtly references a number of other well known themes, to create a unique sonic environment.


“Jazz Music for the Radiohead fan” ROCHESTER CITY NEWSPAPER

“Packed with pop, jazz and contemporary classical references, it’s typically whimsical-sounding Galvin music (there’s a real Punch and Judy show sample in the opener) but steered by an unblinking artistic focus that has nothing whimsical about it at all.” THE GUARDIAN (UK)

“Blessed with the ability to pull a whirlwind of ideas into a cohesive, entertaining whole…Elliot Galvin gifts us a sophomore work of imaginative daring and technical smarts…A rising star heading for the UK jazz A-list.” THE LONDON EVENING STANDARD (UK)

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