Take one part free jazz and one part synth exploration and youâ€™ve got Breakway. The group consists of three Chicago guys: Paul Giallorenzo (Moog, piano), Marc Riordan (drums), and Brian Labycz (modular synth). Whether or not you like their music might hinge on your level of appreciation for both out-there jazz improv and synth bleeps and bloops, but if youâ€™re into either one, youâ€™ll probably find something to like here.
Plowing through eight tracks in just over thirty minutes, Breakway packs a lot of ideas into a small space. Pieces range from fairly nearly straightforward (if R2-D2 or an Atari fronting a free jazz combo seems â€śstraightforwardâ€ť to you) to abstract blasts of percussion and synth noise. Uniting everything, though, is a seeming commitment to the loose instrumental cohesion typical of jazz. Really, itâ€™s the percussion that ties all this together and lends a sense of style that would probably not be there if this music consisted of the synth sounds alone. Even when things seem to be about to spin off into total chaos, the drums pull them back from the brink.
None of this would matter if these guys werenâ€™t any good, but it seems like theyâ€™re locked into their playing and have a good musical rapport with one another. All three players seem really confident to explore wild sounds together and build off of each otherâ€™s ideas. And even at its strangest, I found this really listenable, which is no small feat. This is certainly out there, and probably not for everyone, but if any of this sounds at all interesting to you, do yourself a favor and take the time to check this out.