Amsterdam’s Spinifex erupt with chaotic intensity on Hipsters Gone Ballistic, a set of avant-punk-jazz aberrations that are simultaneously crushing, refined, and unpredictable.
Based on his incorporation of retro synths into his cutting edge jazz fusion style, I get the impression that Evan Marien is a fan of chiptunes, however his production skills and bass chops help put his latest release, Artifacts, on an entirely different level.
The debut Advent EP from blackened folk metallers Wandering Oak is a promising display of occult darkness forging a distinct identity without forgetting the roots from which it sprung.
Satan’s Secret is … Read more
Oxford, UK’s progressive fusion duo Bambino dell’Oro‘s latest album Los Belvos is a set of sumptuously textured modern jazz pieces underlaid by complex grooves. The core of the band is made up by two multi-instrumentalists specializing on drums and piano/keyboard respectively, but they also have a bassist with them most of the time and occasionally a soprano sax player as well on this release.
The album’s overall feel is energetic, effortlessly flowing between odd time signatures that are given time to breathe without overstaying their welcome. They make strategic use of a wide texural palette including instruments such as … Read more
The second release from Argentinian avant-garde jazz sextet Sales de Baño is Horror Vacui, an intriguing live performance. The ensemble is led by bassist and composer Carlos Quebrada, and also features flute, trumpet, keyboard, guitar, and drums. They definitely play “outside” a lot, but what I appreciate here is that it’s often difficult to tell what is composed and what is improvised. Quebrada has done an excellent job, at times approaching a sophisticated chamber music sound and at others harsh avant-noise.
At first, it may seem that the playing here is somewhat aimless in the way that avant-garde music … Read more
Reed player Sha has made a name for himself over the years among fans of the Swiss “zen funk groove” school of jazz pioneered by Nik Bärtsch and Don Li among others. The full-length debut from his project Sha’s Feckel, Feckel for Lovers, is a diverse and dynamic set of heavy jazz fusion tunes. Featuring Sha on sax together with a guitar, bass, and drums trio, this group weaves huge riffs with odd grooves within engaging and thoroughly fearless compositions.
The album starts out with “A,” a 13 minute piece that gradually crescendos from somber, pensive fusion to … Read more
Munich, Germany’s Panzerballett has been one of my favorite bands for some time now. Merging the intricate brutality of progressive metal with the grace and elegance of modern jazz together with a dash of German humor and a healthy awareness of how bizarre this combination is, they are in my opinion one of the most original and virtuosic bands active at this time. Their fifth full length album, Breaking Brain, sufficiently expands on the formula that they’ve developed over the years and manages to meet my high expectations yet again.
Featuring a sax player in what would otherwise be … Read more