Etceteral are a Slovenian experimental trio who create a propulsive, polyrhythmic futurist jazz. It is a sound marked by abstract modular explorations, hypnotic drumming, ricocheted horn textures and crystalline production. Interzones between Dub, Krautrock, Afro-rhythms, free improvisation and quantized electronic music are brightly lit on their thrilling second album Rhizome.
The idea of musical elasticity is central to Rhizome, the sophomore album of the Slovenian audio-visual electronic jazz trio Etceteral, the newest member of the Glitterbeat family, who debuted in 2020 with the album Ama-gi for Kapa Records. Following a series of domestic and international gigs, the band consisting of Boštjan Simon (saxophone, synth, electronics), Marek Fakuč (drums), and Lina Rica (visuals) returned to the studio, taking their ambition to meld audio and visuals to a whole new level on their debut for the tak:til imprint.
On Rhizome, the band explores the interzone between groove-driven contemporary jazz, quantized electronic music, abstract modular explorations, and free improvisation. Like rubber that is able to stretch and be returned to its original shape, Etceteral expands its arrangements to the point of no return, pushing its sonic architecture to the maximum without ever letting it collapse onto itself. "I like to think in terms of sonic rubber bands. We can stretch our music both rhythmically and harmonically, change tonality and return to the main theme through a different key. This process opens up new space for discovery. We recently listened a lot to Joshua Abrams and Evan Parker, musicians who know how to make their music airy and spacious," says Simon.
Given carte blanche to self-produce their second album, they centered it around the concept of rhizome – a continuously growing horizontal underground stem that puts out lateral shoots and adventitious roots at intervals, or in Deleuze and Guattari’s terms, "a nonlinear network that connects any point to any other point". "A rhizome can virtually take any form, choose its path on the go. Just like with our music, its representation isn’t based on an ideal form. The album is like an inquiry on where we are currently situated and where we are going," says Simon.
The sophisticated songs of Rhizome are interconnected in their structures, growing from the inside out. With its interlocking synth sequence, saxophone ornaments, and hip-shaking syncopations, the opening earworm Meadow Sage sets the pace of the record, boasting an ambitious and adventurous sonic character. "While the first record reminded me of Morphine, the new one reminds me of Chick Corea," says Rica with a grin.