Žiga Murko is a Slovenian trombonist, composer, producer based in New York. As it’s hard to pin him down, it’s probably best to let him describe himself, “I studied jazz. I play trombone and piano and I love soul music. My big influences are Madlib, Lord Finesse, Miles Davis and Wayne Shorter. I am holistic in my beliefs. I can feel energies and believe in spirits. I’m a horror movie flick and I like to read philosophical works. I perform with sp404 and trombone but produce with Ableton, mpc2000, sp202/303/404, op1, cassette multi-tracks and other vintage gear.”
2015, saw Žiga Murko keeping very busy with 10 tape, vinyl and digital releases, but while he is certainly prolific he is also remarkably succinct. M-425, for instance, out on Prrrrrrr Records, is an approx 6 minutes long dark and moody concoction of lo-fi slasher inspired menacing piano notes upstaged by casual beats, divided over four tracks, whereas the tape Purple Room, his longest release of 2015 spans 47 tracks and clocks in at around the 60 minute mark, and that’s “one hour of past, present and future fables, myths, facts, legends and secrets!”
On Lake Tahoe, Murko returns with his trademark hybrid of hip-hop jazz fusion and neo-soul. This time we are in holiday mode. His cut and splice technique, which sometimes makes listening to his albums feel like the sonic equivalent of a lazy late afternoon spent zapping, is taken down a gear or two. Melodies are still suggested, only to be dropped half way through a track to make way for a “commercial break” (River House). Vintage easy listening refrains, jazzed up with gentle beats, get unceremoniously abandoned midway (Ode to Wayne). Still, the pervasive downtempo feel overrides the non sequitur approach, allowing for an enjoyable and relaxing ride. As it is often the case with Žiga Murko, the journey is over too soon.
Lake Tahoe is available as a digital release on Žiga Murko’s Bandcamp page.