Emil de Waal+
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Emil de Waal+

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Emil de Waal is a man with a concept. For him, the computer is an integral member of his group, providing "both the bottom and the top of the music". His ensemble sometimes improvise to the computer's accompaniment. The result, de Waal claims, is that "they can play free one day and strict dance music the next day". While one might fear a triumph of concept over content, Live+ is full of warm, magical moments. "Sessionhumor" has breezy, springlike Hawaiian steel guitar licks over a sea-sand shuffle, while "Bongvand" balances wibbly, sawtoothed riffs. "Pejs" suggests Kraftwerk performing at a holiday camp, and engages far more than it deserves to. - THE WIRE, JUNE 07


We're big fans of pushing boundaries. And we're even bigger fans of shattering them. Denmark's Emil de Waal is shattering jazz boundaries with this electronic music. He treats the computer as its own compositional instrument during live performances and is always exploring the space between chaos and structure.
Long live avant garde.

By Devin Wilson - Scanorama, SAS Magazine


Nope, Emil de Waal is geen Vlaming, laat staan een Waal (flauw grapje, I know).
Denemarken is de bakermat van dit levenslustige project dat fluks jazzrock en elektronica door elkaar klutst. Denk daarbij niet aan flauwe, geforceerde caféfunk vol eindeloos gemastubeer op guitar of sax. Nee, wij horen hier flarden Flat Earth Society in, evenals een snuifje Battles (dat moeten die heerlijk complexe live-drums zijn!), maar ook Chicago Underground Duo, Mr. Bungle (in het gestoei met vreemde stemsamples en exotische klanken), Naked City, het vroege Tied + Tickled Trio en Jaga Jazzist. Kijk, als dat geen referenties zijn!
We willen Emil de Waal graag zien groeien en bloeien, bij voorkeur op een podiem, ergens in ons land.
Sasha Van Der Speten - RIFRAF


Fascinating, brain-scrambling music from a completely improbably source – this is the kind of thing that could only happen in Scandinavia.

Emil de Waal is first and foremost a jazz drummer, whose prolific career as a session musician in his native Denmark has seen him working alongside any number of insipid international celebrities and holding together the house band on a string of national TV variety shows. Hardly the sort of background that you might expect behind an album of such quicksilver strangeness, but Emil de Waal Plus was brought into being by De Waal´s day job as associate producer at the Rhythmic Music conservatory in Copenhagen.

Despite being recorded to hard disk in Denmark and New York, decorated by an array of accomplices, and heavily manipulated on both sides of the Atlantic, these compositions retain a surprising fluency. The stealthy piano that opens ”Ypkendantz” has a chromatic stillness reminiscent of Takemitsu, but that´s as meditative as things get, as De Waal immediately embarks on a colourful parade of styles and sounds. ”Struktur” is rattling percussive golem shot through with Middle Eastern figures and frenzied guitar, ”Tschak” a jaunty Caribbean lope festooned with distortion. It´s unclassifiable but no less fun for that. - THE WIRE, MARCH 2005


Discography

Emil de Waal+ (2004)
Emil de Waal live+ (2006)

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Bio

Emil de Waal+ deliberately includes the computer as an additional member of the band, and this truly reflects their way of working. The electronic parts of the music provide not only the basic rhythmic beat but also the musical harmonies and melodies.

On the new album Live+ the concept of ‘live album’ acquires entirely new perspectives, where the live recordings have been edited and engineered in Denmark and the United States, just as transgressively as the studio recordings on his debut album. And, once more, editing, mixing and overdubbing in New York and Copenhagen were performed in collaboration with Andy Green (John Cale/Velvet Underground) and Erik Sanko (John Cale/Yoko Ono/John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards).

The summer 2007 Emil has been touring around Europe and Beijing, China. A part of the tour with special guest Wayne Horvitz, who has worked with Bill Frisell, John Zorn and others, and who Emil worked with on his US tour in June 2006.

Emil de Waal, together with Swedish multi-musician Gustaf Ljunggren and piano player Søren Kjærgaard (Ikscheltaschel), has created an innovative approach to electronic jazz. All the facets of the music are let loose, creating a floating style suspended in the unexplored sphere between free jazz and the constant electronic beat.

Emil de Waal’s professional life as a musician really took off in 1987 when he and others started the band ‘Bagdad Dagblad’. Since then, he has played with almost everybody in Denmark, and in most genres – from underground to universal pop music.