Album Review: Glaston – Inhale / Exhale


One of the relatively new additions to the fusion subgenre comes from Switzerland and its name is Glaston. The previous stylistic categorization should be taken with a grain of salt though, as this is not a fusion in the way of Return to Forever, but rather a fusion of different elements including post-rock, progressive rock and jazz. The band’s musical expression tilts toward the modern eclecticism, but it doesn’t lose its touch with the essence of the genres it origins from.

The quartet features Selina Maisch on piano, Michael Jake Gutzwiller on guitar, Timo Beeler on bass and David Preissel on drums. The group was formed in 2014, and so far they released three singles and an EP, before launching their debut album Inhale / Exhale in 2017.

In Glaston’s own words, “piano, guitar, bass and drums carry their music on a self-forgotten journey, sailing diverse oceans of sounds. Captivating moments accompanied by touching melodies meet polyrhythmic and sometimes complex structures.” And just by quoting this, it could easily give one enough to immediately give the Swiss band attention they certainly deserve.

Glaston - Inhale / Exhale

Selina Maisch’s piano has a very important role in Glaston’s music. She immaculately references renown jazz pianist Esbjörn Svensson in her playing; the renown musician has a strongpoint in Maisch’s playing expression which is combined with modern rhythms and tension that is so present in post-rock. It can be said that very elegant and melodic piano passages are a trademark and the biggest quality of Glaston. Piano solos are especially convincing, which are fluid and casually scattered through time signatures, so they create a perfect lockstep with the rest of the instrumentation, and especially rhythm section. Occasionally, you can attend excursions through minor scales in the best tradition of the ECM school and grandiose classical passages, which paired with the string instruments send Inhale / Exhale to new heights.

Sound of Gutzwiller’s guitar gives the overall sound needed depth and potential to attract different audiences to their work. It’s on the song “Implosions and Her” that Gutzwiller comes out of the comfort zone and turns a gain knob up a bit, but even if he does so the band follows him precisely. On the rest of the material, he mostly provides carefully dosed sound.

When it comes to composition, Glaston mostly keep fairly minimalistic, but tension-building is very important. Sometimes it’s a melodic neo-fusion sound, sometimes it is the odd-time signatures that jump into the focus.

It’s easy to notice that Glaston has potential to pull their craftsmanship into different and unexpected directions. It is of course up to them what is the direction they want to take on the forthcoming releases. And it’s up to us to enjoy this well-developed instrumental offering.

Inhale / Exhale is available from Bandcamp. For more info about Glaston visit their website, and follow them on Facebook.