MUSIC & BANDS
Valentin Garvie – Trumpet
Rudi Mahall – Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
Pierre Borel – Saxophone
Nicola Hein – Guitar
Christian Ramond – Double Bass
Dominik Mahnig – Drums
Philip Zoubek – Piano, Moog
Sebastian Gramss – Double bass / Composition
Etienne Nillesen – Drums, prep. Snare
In STATES OF PLAY, Cologne-based contrabassist Sebastian Gramss unites two congenial rhythm sections and a fine-tuned trio of wind instruments into a unique ensemble in a great act of sonorous synthesis. Orchestral moments á la Ellington and Mingus, Zappa-esque allusions and sonic avant-garde: the essential anatomy of music is broken down to its core elements and repeatedly reassembled in an explosive multiplicity. The result is a multidimensional and shifting music that evolves in an organic flow, continually forming new configurations.
States of Play live at moers festival LP
(limited edition, Rent A Dog, 2019)
order LP or download on Bandcamp
Out & About
(Rent A Dog, 2018)
order CD or download on Bandcamp
The focus of STATES OF PLAY is the radical manipulation of the essential architecture of music and the organic metamorphosis of output sounds. The anatomy of music, the melodies, rhythms and grooves, is decomposed in real-time in its basis and reassembled again and again.
In the course of these mutations, an unheard-of polyrhythmic / macro-polyphonic music emerges, which develops itself from familiar structures more and more constantly and is always composed into new constellations.
STATES OF PLAY – Enola (May, 2018)
“The audience is completely blown away by Sebastian Gramss ‘ States of Play, an international line up that emphasizes the discovery character of the festival. Of the nonet only clarinetist Rudi Mahall is known in our parts (relatively), but what a performance we get here. The ensemble is driven by a double rhythm section, which immediately gives the potential of a small nuclear power plant, but it is so much more than that. Gramss ‘ compositions make repeated use of a primitive thrust, which is always accompanied by a compositional ingenuity, an occasionally staggering stylistic variation and the ability to seamlessly combine the most diverse temperaments and style influences.
[read more=”read more” less=”read less”]The band only comes to rest a few times, but every time it leads to ecstatic reactions of the audience. They are after all treated to an ingenious collage of styles that sounds cinematic and theatrical and then quickly has to give way to thundering fractions, then goes towards electroacoustic improvisation and brass band madness à la X-Legged Sally (do you know them yet?). Exotica, free jazz and passages full of swing, straight from Harlem of the early thirties, are put together, then derailing with a broad smile, end up with a fast big city funk played with so much tension it is on the edge of exploding. It was a tightly conducted and impressively executed opulence and in addition a lesson in colouring outside of the lines that can clearly also impress a large audience.”
Uwe Bräutigam, NRW Jazz.Net
“Ganz großes Kino, eines der besten Konzerte: Sebastian Gramss´schafft mit seinem projekt STATES OF PLAY eine geniale Balance von arrangiertem und freien Spiel.”
Jazzthetik 07/18: 5 Sterne *****
“Surreale Jazzvision, in der Platz bleibt für schöne Kompositionen und inspirierte Solisten – Gramss gehört zu den produktivsten Ideengebern im Jazz.”
Regioactive, Florian Endres
“States of Play beim Enjoy Jazz Festival: Bestes Konzert 2017.”
Klaus Denzer, Local Kompass
“Gramss setzte erneut einen Meilenstein in der Moers Festival Historie: States of Play verbindet Elemente alter und neuer Jazzstile und und wirkt sensationell modern.”
RNZ (Mannheim 2017)
“Futuristische Klangvision. Magische Klänge von größer Schönheit.”