The mouthfully-baptised Devin Drobka’s Bell Dance Songs band is a quintet made of three woodwind players, one acoustic bass player, and a drums person that also acts as the composer: the aforementioned Devin Drobka. It is without a surprise that you will read my words telling you that this is a merciless sonic assault! Amaranth came out on 28 September through Shifting Paradigm Records. Let’s dissect the beast.
The album loses no time to show its colours. At the fluid-tempoed start of “Skip Skip” and the dialogue between the bass and the drums, it’s quite fun to imagine what we’re up against. And, then, the woodwinds embark, to never stop until several minutes down the line. The arrhythmic beats and rubato-like tempo is highly reminiscent of blog-favourite Omar. The chemistry and interplay between all members of this impromptu orchestra are very enjoyable—if your definition of “enjoyable” is as skewed as mine, that is.
For all the awesome rhythms—thanks to percussionist-composer Devin!—and amazing saxiness and bass action, Amaranth is a record much worth delving into. Where the metronome dilates and contracts back and forth, and where a forest of woodwinds grow, pleasure can be found. Devin Drobka’s Bell Dance Songs is such a place.