The second album by Belgian trio Steiger will surely put their name on the international map. One could call it ambient jazz or more appropriate: contemporary music with no boudaries. With a blending of composition and improvisation, Steiger evoques
an atmosphere that is abstract and visual at the same time. They use their instruments in all kinds of ways, conventional and non-conventional. Call it experimental, but that would suggest that the band is just 'trying', which they are not. They develop a
strong direction in each of their fascinating pieces. Pianist Gilles Vandecaveye plays with freedom and at the same time he's in total control of what he's doing. The rhythm section is an equal part of what is happening and not just a backbeat device. The
interplay is great and harmonic, even in the weirdest passages. Sometimes this sounds like a meditation, sometimes it's wandering around and sometimes it is dreaming away. The music is full of details that come out with every spin. It's not short of some intense
passages either. Steiger makes beautiful contemporary music that is adventurous and still accessible. (GR)
Steiger are Gilles Vandecaveye (keys), Kobe Boon (bass) and Simon Raman (drums).
their label has to say about the trio:
Ghent’s Steiger are a piano trio, but not in the classical sense. With their versatile style, influenced by different musical genres such as jazz, rock, pop, classical and
electronic music, they try to find a balance between composition and improvisation through the use of experimentation and electronics.
Considered pioneers of the Belgian jazz crossover scene, Steiger have
been active for 6 years and have recently found themselves performing at major jazz venues in Flanders, picking up numerous accolades along the way.
The trio’s highly anticipated sophomore album ‘Give
Space’, released 14th September on Sdban Ultra, was recorded at 7 different locations, with the music composed to fit and fight these locations within a dialogue of acoustics, atmospheres and appetition. Field recordings, reverbs, ambient sounds, all
collected within the search for the unpredictable, were given space within this dialogue as the essential part of the encounter. As a result, the locations emerge somewhat as a fourth member of the trio. The music - sometimes fixed, sometimes completely free
- takes on an ever-changing journey into their multi-faceted world.
“It is this aspect, space, and the influence of space on music that we, as musicians, find very inspiring and would like to go deeper
on the basis of extensive research. Since a classical studio always strives for the best, most comfortable acoustics, the influence of such a space on the music can often be reduced to one kind of sound and environment in which the music develops. We want
to break this classical pattern and strive for live recordings without an audience, whereby we create a sound of each location depending on the space and / or location.”
Over the last 6 years, the
band has developed their sound at cafés, clubs and festivals across Belgium. The trio self-released their first EP in 2016, with their debut album debut album ‘And Above All’ (El Negocito Records) following a year later.
In the summer of 2017, Steiger won the young Jazz talent competition at Gent Jazz festival, which enabled them to realize the ‘Give Space’ project. Awareness of the moment in a place and time became the core
of the musical storytelling, blurring the divisions of natural and industrial, inner and outer etc. The overall work is a blend of co-related atmosphere of the place, its properties, sounds, the moment and its traced records.
“The space can be both inside and outside. This new environment will thus act as the 4th instrument in other words. Hereby we want to research and play with letting the space influence our music and vice versa, letting our music influence
the space. This process will include recording 7 numbers at 7 different locations.”
The three musicians that make up Steiger all have a jazz background. Moreover, their studies at different music schools
across Belgium (Ghent, Antwerp) and Scandinivia (Göteborg, Copenhagen) have broadened their perspective on listening, practicing and playing different musical genres as well as helped them approach music more sensuously. All three musicians have been
active for some time in different musical projects with different genres as well as the theatre. As a result, they are able to persue an artistic result that is as relevant as possible to them.
Steiger will be one of twelve emerging jazz ensembles performing at the prestigious 12 Points Festival in Dublin. A unique networking opportunity for its participants, 12 Points is a valuable resource for festival bookers and jazz media.
Out on 14th September 2018 via Sdban Ultra / N.E.W.S.
SDBANUCD07 : digipack CD including photo booklet.
SDBANULP07 : LP including download code with bonus tracks and photo booklet.
Upcoming gigs in Belgium:
27/09/18 : Handelsbeurs, GENT
06/12/18 : CC De Schakel, WAREGEM
11/01/19 : Flagey, BRUSSEL