Ergo's music is one of stark melodic beauty, enveloping electro-acoustic texture and empathic imagination. In attempts to describe their sound critics have compared them to music as diverse as Duke Ellington, Autechre, Sigur Ros, Sun Ra, and King Crimson.
In 2003, trombonist and composer Brett Sroka began exploring beyond his Jazz background and became fascinated with electronic music, surrounding himself with synthesizers and software. As he sought to reconcile the six hundred years of technology between trombone and computer he also found, in keyboardist Carl Maguire and drummer Shawn Baltazor, musicians of similarly elastic and adventurous temperaments. As they played throughout New York City and the Northeast US over the next few years an idiosyncratic dynamic began to cohere and Ergo was born.
With their debut cd, Quality Anatomechanical Music Since 2005, Ergo put forth a statement of purpose and was lauded by AllAboutJazz-NY as the “Best Debut CD” of 2006. They have since brought their music to the Williamsburg Jazz Festival in Brooklyn, NY, the Sonic Circuits Festival in Washington D.C., and the Risonanze festival in Venice, Italy. Ergo’s sophomore cd, “multitude, solitude”, has just been released on the eminent Cuneiform Records label.
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Ergo's trombonist Brett Sroka, keyboardist Carl Maguire and drummer Shawn Baltazor are all part of a generation for which Autechre and Sigur Ros are as pressing concerns as Armstrong and Sun Ra. That's certainly evident in the band's timbral sophistication, spacey contours and slinky grooves.
TIME OUT, NEW YORK
. . . atmospheric collective, which takes full advantage of electronic programming and cross-genre appropriation.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
An Ellington fiend who likes to get his computerized space-dub on, the trombonist has lots of sound sculpture in him. His rather dramatic art music is both texturally rich and compositionally engaging.
THE VILLAGE VOICE
Brett Sroka has found a way to turn the trombone into the coolest instrument since the bass clarinet