Archive for the ‘Aufgang’ Category

Aufgang - 2009 - Aufgang

An experimental electronic-acoustic trio associated with the French label Infiné, Aufgang made their eponymous album debut in 2009. Comprised of Francesco Tristano (piano; born Francesco Tristano Schlimé in Luxembourg in 1981, based in Barcelona, Spain), Rami Khalifé (piano; born in Beirut, Lebanon), and Aymeric Westrich (drums, programming; born in France), the trio made its performance debut in 2005 at the Sònar festival in Barcelona.

Aufgang were founded several years earlier, however, when Tristano and Khalifé were students at the Juilliard School in New York. Billing themselves as Aufgang, they performed a piano duet at the Julliard School’s Morse Hall in 2000 and performed other duets there in 2002 and 2003. They also performed duets elsewhere, from Luxembourg to Lebanon, but it wasn’t until 2005 that they added Westrich to the lineup and expanded to a trio. Meanwhile, Tristano established himself as a solo recording artist, recording the full-length album Not for Piano in France in October 2005 with producer Fernando Corona. Eventually released in 2007 on the French label Infiné, Not for Piano includes a few techno-inspired songs: “Strings,” based on Derrick May’s “Strings of Life”; “Andover,” based on Autechre’s “Overand”; and “The Bells,” based on the Jeff Mills track. Several other songs on the album were written by and feature the piano of Khalifé. In addition to Not for Piano, Infiné released a couple EPs, Strings (2006) and The Melody (2008), the former including a techno remix by Apparat and the latter including one by Carl Craig, and the full-length album Auricle / Bio / On (2008), a collaboration with Moritz von Oswald. Following these techno collaborations, Tristano teamed up with Khalifé and Westrich for Aufgang (2009), the trio’s eponymous album debut, and Sonar (2009), a four-track remix EP, both released on Infiné.

he links between classical training and electronic music have always been apparent, at sometimes more clearly than others, so Aufgang’s contribution to the field, given two of its three members’ training at Juillard, is in many ways not surprising at all. The pianos that dominate much of the album range from the frenetic to the softly romantic, casting all of Aufgang in a slightly chaotic light. On balance, it is something of a frustrating album, certainly not terrible, but neither does it seem fully comfortable with itself, often feeling more like a showcase for the accomplished keyboard work than its own self-contained experience. Thus the opening “Channel 7” can’t seem to decide whether it’s meant to be contemplated as a soundtrack or used as a dance number or something else again, crunchy synths and the build-up of drums into bells creating another mood that’s pleasant enough. At the band’s most straightforward, they are often their most successful — “Sonar,” which almost feels like a salute to the early-’90s work of 808 State at points, isn’t a re-creation of that sound or of the piano’s driving role in so many early house records, but it comes close enough in feel to succeed in its own right. Similarly, the extremely calm “Prelude du Passe” and the swirling space rock drive of “Barok” add a little something more to the styles that the trio explores. In contrast, songs like the chaotic “Channel 8” has a lot of elements going for it, from synth zone to pulsing beats, but finds itself all stitched together under some sparkling touches that almost induce sugar shock. If not a full success, it is at least an interesting start on a full-length basis for the group.


  1. Channel 7 (05:36)
  2. Channel 8 (09:11)
  3. Barock (04:52)
  4. Sonar (07:45)
  5. Prélude du passé (05:39)
  6. Good Generation (04:50)
  7. 3 vitesses (05:04)
  8. Aufgang (06:31)
  9. Soumission (10:41)

Duration : 60:09 | Bitarte : 192 kBit/s | Year : 2009 | Size : 86 mb

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