Review: Gonzalo Esteybar – About (EP)

The worlds of ambient and jazz fusion are joined for this new EP from Argentina’s Gonzalo Esteybar. Esteybar is clearly a specialist in electric and acoustic guitars and his fluid, dexterous yet never showy technique may well catch the casual ears of Vini Reilly followers.

Gonzalo Esteybar EP Cover

This may be a new EP but included here is a remix of an earlier track and a version of a Bach piece. The languid jazz/funk of ‘Pero Voy’ is one of the new tracks and opens up the EP with an abundance of warmth and relaxed melody; the kind of music which could be played at a dinner party but also complex enough for headphone listening. ‘About’ itself is the moment which most easily lends itself to Durutti Column comparisons, specifically during his mid 80’s phase. Esteybar employs some rather primitive programmed beats and a selection of samples; the track then working its way into curious passages of psychedelia but with Estyebar’s infectious playing the one key constant.

The remix of ‘Paspartu’ lasts significantly longer than the original but it’s such a charming little tune, it’s a privilege to hear it in its longer format. Meanwhile, the Bach reworking (‘Prelude in C#m, BWV 849’) is clever and interesting if a little shrill and awkward so it’s a testament to Esteybar’s creative talents that his own modern compositions stand out the most. Certainly, the last two tracks ‘Cuatro, Siete’ and the bonus track featuring The Rosario Guitar Ensemble aren’t quite up to the earlier standards but they do demonstrate the versatility of the artist.

‘About (EP)’ is generally of very good quality but one suggestion would be to record a few tracks which don’t include the ambient touches. After all, Esteybar’s playing is strong enough not to need them.

Web Sites:
Gonzalo Esteybar Official Site
Gonzalo Esteybar Bandcamp

Further Listening:
The Durutti Column

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