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Elliot Galvin | The Influencing Machine

A maverick musician with a vision like no other of his generation, ELLIOT GALVIN, releases his 3rd album, The Influencing Machine, pushing his sonic landscape to the limits.

Format: CD, LP and digital

CD Track-listing //

1. New Model Army 4.25
2. La Machine 0.59
3. Red and Yellow 5.13
4. Society 5.14
5. Planet Ping Pong 4.44
6. Monster Mind 5.26
7. Bikini Island 5.16
8. Bees Dogs and Flies 7.25
9. Boys Club 1.24
10. Fountain Head 4.05

LP Track-listing //

Side A:
1. New Model Army 4.22
2. La Machine 0.58
3. Red and Yellow 5.11
4. Society 5.12
5. Planet Ping Pong 4.41

Side B:
1. Monster Mind 5.25
2. Bikini Island 5.15
3. Bees, dogs and flies 5.17
4. Boys Club 4.03

Reviews //

” Brilliantly executed bright ideas…the set is right in Elliot Galvin’s ballpark of brilliantly executed bright ideas and witty diversions.” THE GUARDIAN (UK)

“there is so much irrepressible enthusiasm, so much craft, madness, wit, humor and sense of curiosity in the game, that you are happy to watch these young Britons” JAZZTHING MAGAZINE (DE)

“A hyper-driven cocktail of trashy piano chords and electronic interventions…executed with the kind of no-holds-barred conviction that is sure to energise…” BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE (UK)

“Packed to the gills with superb music” JEZ NELSON, JAZZ FM (UK)

“Young British pianist/composer Elliot Galvin isn’t your ordinary maverick…he’s made a work of soaring ambition. Ten tracks… coalesce into an exhilarating riff on technology, the mind and our factually-challenged age… Visionary stuff.” EVENING STANDARD (UK)

“Could well prove a significant album this year…this trio has been attracting attention for some time and their new album should definitely consolidate that…the original music written by the leader puts all the jazz traditions through a very personal filter…” KEVIN LEGENDRE, BBC RADIO 3 (UK)

“Elliot Galvin’s intriguing new album…he’s a wunderkind keyboardist and composer…and with each album he’s become a more vital and significant part of our contemporary and jazz scenes.” BBC RADIO 3 Max Reinhardt (UK)

”He is now a key player in the vanguard of contemporary British jazz musicians and this is his best album to date’ ALL ABOUT JAZZ (UK)

“Galvin’s most mature musical and artistic statement to date” THE JAZZMANN (UK)

“like the Marx Brothers in the department store” JAZZ CITY (DE)

“The 26-year-old pianist from London pulls out all the stops of his musical cosmos, mixing jazz with free improvisation, electropop and nonsense noise… a refreshing voice of young British jazz.” KUTURTIPPS (CH)

“Terrific! Immediately my ears caught the trail and before I was finished with the first track, I knew I’d be there for the duration.  It’s a lesson, music is a connection…Here is an extraordinary album, bigger than it initially appears.  Certainly not easy, neither is schizophrenia.  It is dark territory made positive; music made anew.  This is how it is.” SANDY BROWN JAZZ (UK)

“The Influencing Machine‘s unpredictability and unflinching dedication to character, are what make it such an entertaining and thought-provoking record. It’s Galvin’s most creative endeavour to date, and a wonderful start to 2018 for Edition.” HEALTHY MUSIC OBSESSION (UK)

“Rochester-born 27-year-old pianist Elliot Galvin is a powerful jazz musician who also has a deep commitment to studying history, a love for reading and emulating literature within his music and is grounded in a new hope for the socialist politics set free and made real and possible by Jeremy Corbyn’s election to the leadership of the Labour Party. These layers of artistic and political formation radiate from his music and expressly from the new album from his trio, intriguingly titled The Influencing Machine.” MORNING STAR (UK)

About ‘The Influencing Machine’ //

The Influencing Machine is the third album by the uniquely creative mind of pianist, keyboardist and composer Elliot Galvin. A maverick musician with a vision like no other of his generation. His bold and idiosyncratic approach has seen him build a reputation as one of the rising stars of European Jazz and improvised music, alongside being a key member of Mercury Music Prize nominated band Dinosaur. Elliot has an uncanny ability to create a truly individual musical sound from a disparate world of influences where the old meets the new.

The Influencing Machine is a sonic exploration of the human mind, technology and our postmodern age, featuring bassist Tom McCredie and drummer Corrie Dick. This album demonstrates a step forward in production and performance by Elliot. Each track is inspired by an overriding concept, that also works to bind the album into a whole making for a unique and compelling listen. The Influencing Machine sees Elliot hone his sonic approach by incorporating a number of electronic sounds to add to his already considerable acoustic pallet: analogue synthesisers, Hammond organ, self-hacked children’s toys found in charity shops and many more. Long-time collaborator Tom McCredie augments his formidable double bass playing with the addition of electric guitar to powerful effect. All the components are bound together by the inimitable drumming of Corrie Dick.

‘The Influencing Machine’ by Mike Jay tells the fascinating historical account of the life of James Tilly-Matthews, born in 1770, a double agent at the time of the French civil war, tea merchant, political thinker, architect and first fully documented case of a paranoid schizophrenic who was committed to Bethlem psychiatric hospital in 1797. Tilly-Matthews’ life was a web of espionage and delusion, coinciding with many of the key events of his time: the French revolution, the rise of mesmerism, and the change in societal thinking towards the mentally ill, to name just a few. Tilly-Mathews operated under the unique delusion that he was controlled by a machine: the Air Loom, operated by a gang of criminals and spies skilled in pneumatic chemistry. A uniquely imaginative creation, it was the first documented case of a machine influencing someone’s mind, a concept that seems sadly apt in the modern world.

Elliot stumbled across Jay’s book in the Wellcome Collection in London. He was immediately fascinated by Tilly-Matthews’ life and times and the uncanny parallels with our own modern lives, affected as they are by political turmoil and modern day ‘influencing machines’. This hugely ambitious album was written by Elliot Galvin to reflect these timely, yet seemingly timeless themes, blending sounds both old and new to reflect the chaos, the beauty, the joy and sadness of the worlds we live in.

Elliot Galvin is a master musical architect, constructing and manipulating musical ideas to create the desired effects. One example is the track ‘Bees dog and flies’ where he harmonises a Renaissance folk melody and imaginatively blends it with West African percussive rhythms over distant  Hammond organ. Or the track ‘Boys Club’ which blends a self-hacked child’s toy guitar with Tom McCredie’s electric guitar, layered with piano, synth and drums, augmented by a melody that subtly references a number of other well known themes, creating a unique sonic environment.


Recorded at Fish Factory Studios, London on May 28th – 30th, 2017
Recorded and Mixed by Sonny Johns
Mastered by Tom Leader

Artwork by George Finlay-Ramsay

Inspired by the book ‘The Influencing Machine: James Tilly Matthews and the Air Loom” by Mike Jay and the parallels between the life and times of James Tilly Matthews and the modern world.

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