Niš (The Emperors City) in Serbia, is not only the central location for the countries electronics, mechanical engineering, textile, and tobacco industries but also the home base for the extraordinary jazz fusion band ‘Eyot. A band that formed in 2008 and within four years had won the coveted (MIDEM) “Marché International du Disque et de l'Edition Musicale” competition in Paris. A massive trade event attended by representatives of the music industry in its entirety.’ Eyot’ though, since their competition success, have certainly not been a band to rest on their laurels embarking on several world tours visiting over 25 countries and performing in over than a 300 concerts and festivals... Such continuous touring earning the band great accolades from the critics, audience and music industry. It has been quoted that “Their live performances are filled with energy and emotions that bring the listener deep into their personal world and create a unique experience”.
‘Heartbeat’ the bands new single from the forthcoming album 557799 was actually to be the subject of this review but the entire album is just so good that it was impossible to pull it out for special consideration. Whilst the music throughout the entire album is steeped in jazz type proliferations its latitude is such that it opens up incursions into other musical avenues particularly for Progressive Rock aficionados who welcome such well-constructed music into their playlists. Besides the oodles of neat harmonic piano driven progressions that dominate ‘Eyot’s compositions, the most notable attribute to their music is that it has a definite sense of direction. Mind you, not in a predictable way, such as most pop music. No, it is arranged in a way that is openly accessible to all serious music fans whatever their personal preference. It is certainly not set aside for fellow jazz loving fans or musicians. In summary it is beautifully constructed music that extends beyond the realms of any specific audience and as such can be appreciated by many types of music collectors.
The driving force and fundamental harmonic impetus behind the music is the beautifully administered classical piano which on every track transports the melodic theme through a range of subtle time changes and soundscapes. However the supporting combination of drums and bass is exceptionally brilliant. Certainly, after several plays, you are able to home in on the very clever bass lines and ultra-busy and quite sensational bass lines.
Dejan Ilijic – Piano, Moog
Marko Stojiljkovic – Bass
Sladjan Milenovic – Guitar
Milos Vojvodic – Drums
Pete Judge – Trumpet on DODOLA
Jake McMurchie – Sax on DODOLA
Composed and arranged by Dejan Ilijic & EYOT
Recorded by Jim Barr at REAL WORLD STUDIOS & INVADA studio - November 2019
Sound engineer assistant – Oli Jacobs *RWS
Mixed and produced by Jim Barr & Dejan Ilijic
Mastered by Andy Walter at ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS
Cover art – Alban Low
From the Internet some interesting facts About the Album especially how the music integrates the traditional music from the Balkan’s.
The album name is 557799, after the composition number 7, which is about the rhythm pattern throughout it. 5/8 5/8, 7/8 7/8, 9/8 9/8 it goes.
Those 3 odd rhythms are the basics of the Balkans’ traditional music, but for us, there’s more to that than just the number- it’s the epitome of life and history which has always been turbulent in this part of the world. That’s our Heartbeat. Odd is an odd way full of life and emotion.
Dodola (also spelled Doda, Dudulya and Didilya, pronounced: doh-doh-la, doo-doo-lya, or dee-dee-lya) is a pagan tradition found in the Balkans. A girl, wearing a skirt made of knitted,fresh green vines and small branches, is singing and dancing through the village, stopping at every house, where the hosts sprinkle her with water. She is accompanied by villagers who are dancing and shoutingto the music.
In some kind of Rite, Dodolahas summoned the Rain.
Linen is dedicated to the most famous Serbian composer StevanMokranjac- a fragment of his 9th Garland’s “Biljana platnobeleše” (Biljana was washing the linen) is used in the theme. Also, the foundation of harmony here lies upon Mokranjac’s opus.
Half of this album was created from old ideas, mixed with new solutions-or, inspired by many musical styles, formed into the specific EYOT sound.
But this time I was particularly inspired by John Williams, Bruckner, Patrick Doyle, and Mokranjac, and also “The Soul Cages” album by Sting.