I didn't know any of these musicians up front before, although I had heard of Luis Candeias, and, of course, the label, which has been putting out consistently solid music worth hearing. Clean Feed is associated with some pretty wild improvisational artists, so I expected something pretty off the wall here. Instead, I got a listening experience of a slightly different kind.
True, "Joint Effort," the first cut starts with some zonky electronic effects, awash with drums and punctuated by some acoustic guitar that provided textural contrast. But from then until the end, the ride is pretty sweet with the trio blending sax, guitar, bass and drums in a lyrical, coherent arc of material. The pop-hooks-gone-a-little-manic in "Circle Haze" are endearing, and so are the ironically digital/mechanical throughput sounds of "Human Element," the bassy lopping of "Tune Out," the chill indie feel of the ostinato figures of "Too Lazy to Panic," the phantasmagoric atmosphere of "Dragons," and the pleasingly moist and tender "Well Balanced Salad." The ride ends with a brooding, moody "Towards the Gorges," and after it one feels well nourished and refreshed.
All the way through this album, which consists of fairly short tracks, we get the sense of having been taken on a journey and having been told a compelling story along the way. Bostjan Simon (sax, electronics), Stephan Meidell (guitar, bass, percussion, electronics) and Luis Candeias (drums, percussion) as Velcro, have crafted a picturesque piece of work here that is both calming and exciting without shaking you up unduly.
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