Aufgang | Istiklaliya | New Music Review

Article Contributed by William Hungerford | Published on Wednesday, April 10, 2013

This band is amazing with a great style derived from classical, electronica, techno, and even house music. The band members are Francesco Tristano, Rami Khalife and Aymeric Westrich. Francesco and Rami met in New York while both studying classical piano at Juilliard. Apparently, both Francesco and Rami participated in the clubbing scene of New York as much as they did their studying. Upon meeting each other, they both began playing together with their classical training. The third member, Aymeric, is the percussionist and was previously Rami’s friend from school. Aymeric later moved to New York and absolved himself within the same club music culture as Rami had. All three musicians developed their sounds together by 2001, but afterwards, each had pursued their own careers. By the year 2005 this trio had began playing again and had gained acclaim at the Sonar Festival in Barcelona, Spain.
Including the album ‘ISTIKLALIYA‘, AUFGANG has released two albums and several EPs. AUFGANG also has performed at quite a few European concerts and festivals. This band had recorded most of this recent album live, so the editing would not inhibit the essence meant to be captured for the listener. This music is just as much organic as it is electronic and contains talented improvisation.
The pianos are exceptionally melodic and the drums are very nice with pulsing rhythms. There are moving jazz, gospel, epic, punk, blues, rock, funk, classical, and electronica sounds present. The vocals are diverse with some tracks that echo emotion and some that just charge and move the listener. Some tracks have very beautiful lyrics and experiences. I have noticed some vocal and musical styling similar to that of such performers as Bright Eyes, Yeasayer, The Battles, The Postal Service, Eddie Vedder, Jim Morrison, The White Stripes and even Foster the People.
The instrumentation is even more diverse and talented than the vocals! There are clap tracks, guitar effects, nice flowing music and sometimes a very intense repetition of sound. Much of the music includes a psychedelic/trippy sound; either with a slow or fast style with distortion, space, feedback, and/or cleanliness. This music is groovy and moving with an ability to make one want to dance and boogie. AUFGANG is super funky and unearthly and they definitely raise the listener to extreme mental and physical peaks that rival the compositional talents of Frank Zappa, Rick Wakeman, Bach, and Jeff Mills. If translated, the word aufgang has four meanings that are all relevant to the musical styles: ascent, rise, staircase, and stairs. This band demonstrates all four definitions in their music and because of that reason alone……..should be heard on album or in person!