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Auris + Gino - Rub
CD (Chicago / San Francisco)



-A+G.1
-E+G
-J+G
-A+G.2
-C+G
-A+G.3




Eric Leonardson - Springboard, Electronics
Julia Miller - Guitar, Electronics
Christopher Preissing - Flute, Electronics
Gino Robair - Percussion, Electronics
digital version on Pan Y Rosas

Reviews:
(Monsieur Délire) Auris is an electroacoustic improvisation trio consisting of Eric Leonardson (springboard & electronics), Julia E. Miller (guitar & electronics), and Christopher Preissing (flute & electronics); Gino is percussionist Gino Robair. Rub features three collective improvisations and three duos between Auris members and Robair. Noise-based, pointillistic music, a demanding listen, with very successful moments (especially in “A+G.3”) and forgettable ones. On the duos side, the best match-up is with the flutist, making “C+G” the highlight of this overall pretty respectable album. Rub is also downloadable for free from Pan Y Rosas. - François Couture

(Sound Projector) Gino Robair has also played with Braxton, and is a busy, noisy drummer and percussionist, here guesting with the trio Auris. All four players are credited with electronics in addition to their instruments, although I have no idea what Eric Leonardson’s ‘springboard’ is! The track titles appear to be cryptic letters, but after listening and reconsidering I reckon they stand for either the group [A] or individuals [C = Christopher Preissing; E = Eric Leonardson; G = Gino Robair, etc.] and who they are playing with. So ‘E + G’ is Eric Leonardson in duet with Gino Robair. There’s a suggestion that Robair has been invited along as a newcomer to ‘alter the landscape’, but to these ears he fits right in. Electronics give an unworldly edge to all of these tracks: this really is a new world, one made with howls, textures, honks, drones and alien textures, where it is rare to be able to attach an instrument’s name to the sounds being produced. (Drums, at times, being the one exception). The music is hesitant yet aggressive, full of rhythmic pulses and urgent morse-like messages, metallic sustain and high pitched tones. An alien landscape if one wants to pursue the landscape metaphor, a world sculpted with noise and sound, a conversation between the organic and it’s treated digital self. This music is both exciting and challenging. - Rupert Loydell

(Downtown Music Gallery) Auris is a Chicago-based trio who play experimental music with invented instruments & electronics, as well as guitar and flute. They are joined here by Bay area percussionist Gino Robair who has evolved from playing drums to working with "activated surfaces" over the past few years. Here Mr. Robair plays both percussion and electronics. The blend of real instruments and (often homemade) electronics is well-integrated so that it is hard to tell who is doing what at times. It sounds as if Gino has found some truly kindred spirits here as the entire quartet has a unified sounds. Some of the sounds from what I think are homemades are rather strange or at least difficult to figure out, yet everything fits. A strange yet wonderful offering that might take a bit of getting used to unless of course you live in an alien landscape. - Bruce Lee Gallanter

(Vital Weekly) Auris is a trio of Eric Leonardson (springboard, electronics), Julia Miller (guitar, electronics) and Christopher Preissing (flute, electronics), guested by Gino Robair (percussion, electronics). This trio is into organic electro-acoustic music. ‘Rub’ is their first release and resulted from a session at the Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago in 2010. Robair may be the most familiar one of these musicians: founder of the Splatter Trio and owner of Rastacan Records, with an endless list of recordings with improvisers from all over the planet. Eric Leonardson is a composer, radio artist, sound designer, instrument inventor, improvisor, visual artist, etc from Chicago. He has a special interest for unorthodox approaches to sound and its instrumentation with a broad understanding of texture, atmosphere and microtones. Preissing is a composer and improviser from Chicago. Julia Miller works as an electronic musician on the one hand, and as a guitarist on the other. Like here with Auris. An interesting player. On ‘Rub’ the four engage in some very sensitive, but rough improvisations. Don’t let their freaky improvisations mislead you. These musicians know where they are up to. Their vivid abstract sound improvisations really touch upon things. They built dramatic textures, be it very loud or very quiet. A relevant and beautiful work. - DM

(Squid's Ear) Quite often, experimental musicians fall into one of two camps: those who are patient and good at creating foreign soundscapes with "what is that?" creativity, or those technically voracious and bombastic (generally working in a post-jazz tradition, using their years of scales work for something other than hard bop solos). Nothing is flawed with either tactic, but it's interesting when a group has mastery over both methods, as is the circumstance with trio Auris and percussionist / noisemaker Gino Robair. For each of these six works, members Eric Leonardson (springboard, electronics), Julia Miller (guitar, electronics) and Christopher Preissing (flute, electronics) offer variations of players and instruments, all anchored to Robair's amazing performances. To call the music "nimble" would be an understatement: the crew can launch, pause, regroup and rush without hesitation across myriad disparate gestures. On "A+G.1" the quartet jumps out of the gate with a snappy percussion groove under flute chirps, sporadic guitar roars, electrical stabs and manipulated vocal whimpers — the latter à la Phil Milton's possessed aesthetic; metallic objects ping and clang, guttural pops and snarls project, and a bag of kitchen sink objects is poured out to fizz, thunk, lurch and collapse. That's just the first three minutes. There is so much activity going on here (and on "A+G.2" and the closer, "A+G.3") that it's hard to keep up with the sonic sprint; you'll find yourself with eyes closed, head down because there is no way to experience Rub with any distractions. But it's a lovely wall of sound: it's all hand-made, human interaction with machines and instruments to coax out 10,000 bits and approaches (read: it's not just flicking the "on" button and letting the inanimate animate). Further, the chemistry of the group is the flawless cooperation of an eight-handed beast, one that acknowledges a macro picture while building and tearing down waves of deft orchestration — often sounding as a gremlin big-band. There are scarce solos moments, and they make for a powerful contrast (i.e. a pause near nine minutes to highlight Miller's roaring, pitch-bending power chords). Equally (if not more) enjoyable are the pairings of each member of Auris with their featured guest. Here, you have a chance to pick apart and relish a slightly more minimal, intimate situation. After a soaring synth siren, "E+G" is Leonardson and Robair embracing rhythmic beds of rolling toms, nervous percolating flicks and cavernous sub-frequencies. By contrast, Miller and Robair fill "J+G" with micro-bursts and rapid-fire muted shrugs, the drummer ripping tape off drum heads and working across his entire kit while Miller hammers on and off, wrings her (guitar)neck and gives a wah-wah pedal a workout. Preissing's overblown gagaku moments, non-melodic rasps and speak-flute blend seamlessly with Robair's stick+membrane scuffs and trombone-like pitched moans on "C+G". In case this review hasn't already rammed the idea down your throat, Rub is a dazzling display of virtuosity. So much talent across musical chops and knowing how to use that Ivory Tower perfection to offer new music is almost criminal. - Dave Madden

(KFJC) Gino Robair dates a trio? Robair, man-about-Oak-town and Rastascan raconteur hooks up with the Auris trio in Chicago on 10/20/2010. Numbers are exchanged, wires are crossed (all four contribute “electronics” to the encounter) and music is made. Scratch orchestrations, twitching improvisations and eerie elongations (#4 being a fave of that form). You could call this type of electroacoustic work : Buzz, bow and beyond! I tended to prefer the menage a quatre action, where there is more for the ear to watch. But Gino also spends one track with each Auris player. #5?s duet with Christopher Preissing on flute and hiccup moans was fun in a Japanese avant Jethro Tull way with some shakuachi style moves too. Robair is no stranger to KFJC’s shelves and circles, he remains a splatter percussionist: dotting, darting and dredging up objects to plunk. The lead-off track shows him briefly at his most driving and rhythmic …for a few bars. With guitarist Julia Miller, he might be ebowing a drum, and/or shoehorning an object into tight place on #3. I liked her twang-bar queen action on the lead-off 4-way. Eric Leonardson plays his own creation, the springboard, on his duet with Gino (#2) sounds like a tiny airplane trying to fly high with the jets at the start. Listen to that beauty and check out http://ericleonardson.org/instruments/ Always cool to see where the weird flows from… - Thurston Hunger

(Monk Mink Pink Punk) Gino is the fantastically creative percussionist Gino Robair, who teams up for a set of duos and quartets with the Chicago trio Auris. Crafty instrument builder Eric Leonardson is the only member of the trio I recognize. Each member of the trio gets a duo with Robair, and then the full quartet plays thrice. Guitarist Julia Miller and flautist Christopher Preissing both augment their instruments with electronics. The playing throughout is busy, spasmodic, explosive; Robair’s splashing playing making enough noise to be three people himself, so there is no easy discernment between the duos and quartets. It’s a meeting where everyone pulls out all their special tricks to maximum effect. - Josh Ronsen


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