Granola Import's reverberations off the surface of a 3 a.m. canal are a 180° departure from Udo Van Roosbroeck's former electronic repertoire (ZiBiT, Devoted Symbols). GI may only date back to 2015, but it's the product of long incubation: Van Roosbroeck first started branching off into more conventional instruments in 2003, absorbing energy from Troissoeur, with whom he shared rehearsal space. It was after a visit to Canada with ZiBiT that things really got going, as Van Roosbroeck translated the spruce-and-granite Canadian patois into the bartops-and-cobblestones vernacular that you hear today, first with Marc Cuypers in the raw blues combo The Mal Inn, and lately as Granola Import.
So why Granola? Because GI's music is at once soft yet possessed of crunch. Because it's best served by the heaping bowlful, the better to appreciate its myriad ingredients. And because, like granola, it's familiar and classic (yet not too familiar or too classic: in GI's sound you may find elements of Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits and Nick Cave, but also of Wax Mannequin, Shawn Clarke, Beirut and of classical and traditional music from around the world).
And why Import? Because of the collaborative and wide-ranging nature of the project. With music big enough to fit inside a cello case and as intimate as a fireside C harp, as supple as a clarinet run and as agile as a squeeze-box break, GI benefits from a growing list of co-conspirators who bring juice to gigs and recording sessions. What's more, GI will import to the repertoire of originals a select corpus of covers, mostly Canadian.
(Text by Richard-Yves Sitoski; poet, historian and musician living in Owen Sound, Canada, with his lovely wife , musical partner and pussy-hat knitter , Mary Little.)