Jeff Greinke

Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque NM Saturday, December 13th, 2003

By Dimbulb

I witnessed a terrific show by Jeff Greinke and, while no guitars were in sight, it was an interesting evening of sample manipulation, virtual analogue synth, and trombone. Jeff hit the stage with a quiet and calm demeanor, spoke briefly with the small audience in attendance, and begun his hour-long piece with a pair of delightfully resonant cowbell-like instruments (they had a Swiss Alpine-like appearance). Microphones picked up the bell clangs and fed a pair of Digitech stomp-box-styled delays that provided an atmospheric bed of sound upon which he layered samples. His sampler was an old Ensoniq model which I am told is quite archaic (not that I know about those things) which held vast quantities of sounds: from ambient and ethereal, grating and noisy, to fat beats. I don’t know how he kept track of the various samples, and, as things became denser, keeping track of what he was doing became quite difficult. I noticed Greinke holding multiple keys down with strips of electrical tape as he switched over to manipulating his delays, mixer, or Nord synth. He was a constant blur of motion – like a mad scientist in a lab filled with beakers and chemicals.

Jeff’s sound was rooted in a shifting, ambient atmosphere but he moved the sound toward many different, and in some cases, unexpected places including a few nice, noisy sections and one wild trombone/vocalizing break. During this trombone section Greinke periodically blasted notes into a microphone while at other times he walked away from the technology and played crazily in a Beefhartian manner – augmenting them with utterances and gibberish that could best be described as some kind of fictitious, Samurai slang. Eventually, he set his horn aside and continued with utterances building up to spasmodic outbursts. It was very odd, comical, and very cool to see this and the eventual segue back, panting and out of breath, to the previous atmospheres.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show despite the lack of stringed instruments. It was interesting to see someone so adept at sound and sample manipulation and it inspired me to go home and play around with some samples of my own.