G-Nome Project is moving up a level. The Israeli livetronica band, which performed last week at Club Cafe, showcased a set that straddled both nostalgic notes and futuristic chords. While sliding between familiarity and unchartered space is what the Jerusalemite jam band does best, its South Side performance demonstrated an uncanny sophistication with mixing strains.
As common to the quartet’s regimen, the show began with them huddling in audience sight. From the back of the pack, Chemy Soibelman, the talented drummer whose ferocity on the cans mirrors an offstage presence of similar fire, announced, “We are G-Nome Project from Israel, and we’re here to rage with you.”
Straight out of the gate, the group, which integrates a sound of bolting pace resembling a high speed car chase, demonstrated its musical mastery as both Shlomo Langer on guitar and Zechariah Reich on bass slithered through riffs to their listeners’ delight.
“They are smooth, they’re tight, I like the guitar and the drum rolls,” said Doug Smith, of Pittsburgh.
The music is “phenomenal. It always makes me want to move,” echoed Emily Scabilloni, also of the Steel City.
As fans bobbed and jounced, the jam band transitioned into a funkier beat. The slower pace gave respite to those grooving on the floor of the South Side space while allowing the musical act to exhibit its genre bending style.
“I like them. They’re a little techno, a little funk, a little everything,” remarked Judy Greene, of Pittsburgh.
“There’s a real eclectic mix of rhythms, that’s what I like about it,” echoed Lisa Sherron, seated nearby.
Through Eyal Solomon’s alternating approaches on the keys, the perplexity of the auditory experience engendered is almost similar to imagining Roger Moore and Cassandra Peterson joyriding in a Tesla Roadster. It is this jaunty bricolage of improvisation and international flare that separates G-Nome Project from acts like Lotus and The Disco Biscuits, noted Steve Ippolito, drummer for The Clock Reads, a local band that similarly melds styles to forge sound.
There is a “world fusion flavor” that emanates from the four Israelis, he added.
Also oozing from G-Nome Project, whose self-described “Grilled Cheese Funk” approach gave rise to last year’s “Another One Bites the Crust” tour, is joy. For much of their near 90-minute set, the instrumentalists smiled, nodded and jumped along with one another.
“They’re in the pocket,” said Ippolito, before explaining, “They’re all on the same wavelength. You’ll see them giving each other little looks, but they aren’t second guessing each other. They’re very comfortable with each other.”
When asked about attaining such commonality and understanding, Reich said after the show, “We’re improvising and making music. How is it not the most fun thing in the world?”
That ebullience is infectious, explained Avi Green, who counted last week’s gig as one of more than 10 G-Nome Project shows that he has attended.
“There is a very big smile on my face,” added the Clevelander. “The sound they makes creates so much emotion.”
No better was this rousing spiritual ability better demonstrated than in “It’s Not Mario,” the evening’s encore. With its quirky take on classic video game soundtracks, the work featured a varying score.
“There’s an underwater level, an underground level, we win, we lose, you’ll hear it all, and you’ll visualize it, and it will make the song so much better,” explained Solomon to event-goers.
Upon the number’s conclusion, Green agreed and described the piece as “very musically creative.”
Achieving that innovation rests at the heart of the G-Nome Project experience, said Reich. “We have these rules and we follow them, and it gives an added value to the band.”
Chief among the stringencies, said the bassist, is that “every live show is a new experience. … It excites people. They know that it’s being created on the spot.”
This self-awareness coupled with a desire to improve their jams and transitions is what excites Green the most about G-Nome Project.
“It’s like a flower that comes from a seed. The flower eventually blossoms, and these guys are in that phase. I cannot wait to see what’s in store for them.”
Adam Reinherz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.