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Banana Oil

Ultamate Mix (labelname)

By • Sep 7th, 2020 • Category: Single review

The work of Joe Howe – best known to indie types as electro terrorist Germlin, also familiar to others far and wide for his work with alt.pop maverick Momus – this five track sees the Scots polymath veer into another genre.

Jazz.

Working with Laurie Pitt on drums and bassist Niall Morris, this six-track epistle comes from what’s described as a power jazz trio, and lead track ‘Music Thinkin’ fits the stereotype for many – syncopated drumming, some snazzy keys and chundering bass, and parping sax kicking in halfway through.

From then on it’s a bit more what others expect from jazz – ‘Frog Nestor’ covers all the bases, from its freeform drum and keys intro with bass snaking around it, a bit of righteous chanting in the middle signifying a completely different ‘tune’ before morphing into the bastard offspring of ‘Take Five’.

‘Banana Wheel’, if it wasn’t driven by squawking sax, would be post-rock, possibly, while ‘Hip!’ is perhaps closest to the Jazz Club ethos, though it’s more nasty than nice. But has nothing on closing ‘Nipin Pincers’ – recalling Glaswegian jazzers Chou Pahrot it’s a squonkfest of a ‘tune’ which traverses through time signatures and scales like they never existed. In all, the virtuoso musicianship is a paradise for anyone into the technical aspects of freeform for the freeform fans, but possibly a difficult listen for anyone else – exactly, you’d imagine, what was intended.

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