Pasting this in from elsewhere, hope that’s not too lazy:
‘How about “Gonzo piano-noodling”, do they have that?’
In the offices of BlancoMusic.com, Piano Segundo and the label staff are trying to register the act’s music with the PPL. Standard admin stuff, but the drop-down list of genres is a bit restrictive.
‘Jazz, Dance, Erotic?’ All of the above. ‘Adult Contemporary?’ Is that a euphemism? ‘Bhangra’ No. Definitely not Bhangra.
Genre descriptions have always been the battlefield between artists and their labels. Whether it’s a cliche or a truism depends on whether you’re in the business of making music or selling it, but artists hate genre definitions. If you’re expressing the innermost intricacies of your essential soul, it comes as a bit of a blow to find that there are enough similar versions of the same out there to warrant a genre heading. Labels, record shops and distributors, however, just like to know which rack to put the CD into.
Still, Piano Segundo’s music is definitely in a bit of a niche, but one which crosses over into unexpected territories. Predictably, clubbers love it – it’s as filthy with beats and bass as the deepest house anthems. That said, there’s a growing movement of fans whose interests more usually lie with rock, metal, prog, jazz. The key element is virtuosity. Virtuosity, lucidity and control – those identifiers of musical prowess that have long been essential to the classical audience – are fast-becoming the way do sort the dross from the gold in today’s overpopulated music market. Anthemic landfill indie; auto-tuned X-Factor fluff; exuberant-but-simple college punk; ditzy mixtapes – web 2.0 has certainly made it easier to get your music heard, but the simple fact is that virtuosity and musicianship are no more common now than they were back in the days when fans queued all night to get to hear Frampton’s latest guitar figure. Coldplay may soothe the nerves after a hard day at the office, but there’s always the feeling that, with a bit more practice, your local pub band could be just as good. Listening to Piano Segundo though, it’s blindingly obvious that this is a keyboard played by a virtuoso musician who was born to play.
Genres? Somewhere between the incidental car-chase music of 70s cop dramas and the bossa nova stylings of Joao Donato on those classic Astrid and Gilberto recordings. With filthy floor-filling beats. And Gerry Lewis manic honkytonk energy. But sometimes quiet and considered. Some of the tunes are composed off the cuff, exclusive to that night’s performance and never to be repeated. Genre? Er, not Bhangra. Definitely not Bhangra.
Piano Segundo will be at Aura, Ibiza on July 13th and throughout the summer. Selected tracks available from http://blancomusic.com