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Konstrukt

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Konstrukt

03.01.2019

Konstrukt performed at the 28th Akbank Jazz Festival

Text: Mert Er

The style of Konstrukt can be best described as avant-garde. They utilize every bit of ‘freedom’ that free jazz provides to achieve their dissonant and experimental sound. The only thing that holds the musicians together is usually a simple walking bassline, yet the clashing sounds are more exhilarating rather than cacophonic. The texture is thick throughout the concert; not only solos are replaced by collective improvisations, but also instruments seem to fight for the spotlight. At the performance which the band create enormously a rich musical texture; extreme high-pitch or unworldly sounds are abundantly used as a result, the audience is kept in a high-attentive and trance-like state.

It is now necessary to take a closer look on how each individual plays his role in contributing to the overall style. Apostolos sets a jazzy bassline to keep us in familiar seas. He occasionally plays bow depending on the mood, yet does not improvise as much as others. Korhan, edgy when he improvises, sticks to the high registers and extensively uses false fingering to keep the tension high. When he comps, he does it with echoing vocal effects, dissonant flute notes, or by simply blowing the mouthpiece of his saxophone like a bugle. Umut plays his guitar in high distortion, strums the strings frantically, creates acerbic sounds with the reeds, and produces mesmerizing sounds with the guimbri. Turgut Alp contributes with groovy drumlines and engages in some call and response with the other drummer as if he tries to taunt him for more. And lastly the energetic, explosive drum solos of Ediz, my favorite performer of the night were absolutely phenomenal. Either fast and powerful on the cymbals and snares, or slow and steady, he played with such finesse reminding me of Buddy Rich.

They played four improvisations that I prefer to evaluate as one, since they all sounded as parts of one complete performance despite the fact that each had its own theme, texture and climax. After all edginess and tension that was built throughout the performance, the concert ended with familiar smooth and occasional gloomy jazz tones; relieving all tension once and for all.

Overall it was a great, almost psychedelic experience. Pushing the limits of jazz, yet skillfully preserving its core elements, the show was engaging and stimulating. I would definitely be eyeing Konstrukt’s future gigs after this outstanding performance.

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