Austrian three-piece Elektro Guzzi are masters of discipline. Their second album in eight years, the guitar/bass/drum trio are firmly routed in the realm of dance music, but shun any reliance on the perfectionist, clinical production and over-saturation typical of a guitar/dance crossover. In fact, 'Parquet' is almost completely organic.
The nine tracks of their sophomore full-length are built from the ground up, often starting with bare, rigid beats and slowly bursting into life. Each one was recorded live and sparred the use of editing or overdubbing, which gives Parquet an unusual atmosphere, more akin to the krautrock of Can or Neu in the way ideas are allowed to bubble and form naturally rather than being cut and pasted in. Comparisons here can be drawn to Factory Floor or Health, though in keeping with their discipline Elektro Guzzi do not use the same range of tools, toys and tricks to set a direction.
Opener 'Affumicato' sets the mood perfectly; a locked-in digital floor tom rhythm sets the base whilst a picked guitar sent through delay, reverb and flanger pedals forms a melody and the bass takes its time mirroring and imitating both. The end result is something not too dissimilar to late nineties techno, but the sound Parquet is by no means dated; it is vibrant and exciting.
Throughout the album Elektro Guzzi do touch upon different styles and vibes, most notably on the mammoth 'Moskito', which has a galloping drum beat reminiscent of a wide-screen Arabic chase scene, and the closer 'Slide Dandy', which finishes over the album in a manner befitting a closing-night Ibiza party, yet at this point it is difficult not to look back and wish that a little more ground had been covered and that certain ideas were allowed to explode rather than digress. Still, 'Parquet' is at the very least an interesting concept and a rewarding listen.