Billy Gomberg – COMME


Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based Gomberg works with “analog synthesis, digital treatments, acoustic recordings and custom programming” to generate a kind of semi-structured music which starts from improvisation and successively gets tailored into constantly changing shapes that could be attached to some form of inexpressible “song”. Curiously the composer talks about “acoustics in love with their own abstraction”, but the main sensation while listening to Comme is one of physicality, although a stylishly anarchic one. The fleshiness of a Roland synthesizer against the volatility of certain emissions, the harmonic kindness that renders several passages slightly more familiar to the ears versus the barely penetrable obscurity of a segment such as “Pair” (easily the best of the CD’s eight tracks). This game of contrasts is ultimately what sustains our interest throughout this debut album, a collection that otherwise would risk being overlooked in that congested area of electronica which considers creative peaks undesirable, tending to even out different personalities across a medium-range sameness that does no justice to inquisitive minds like Gomberg’s. There are seeds here that need to be carefully watered to grow into beautiful plants, and this young man is perceived to be a sensible gardener.


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