John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension: Now Here This (2013)
Now Here This consists of several sonic roller coasters in which McLaughlin and his band shift through multiple tempos, time signatures and a surplus of kinetic energy. The music literally kicks in forcefully, with the drummer Ranjit Barot's brutal and busy drumming as he crashes heaven's gates on the opening "Trancefusion." Those opening bars mark his presence as a new member of 4th Dimension on this record, as he replaced drummer Mark Mondesir. This track is a roller coaster and one of the many guitarist/drummer duels that happen throughout the record on "Riff Raff," "Call and Answer" and "Guitar Love." These tracks show McLaughlin igniting the fire with his skillful, graceful and feverish playing with blistering runs riding on a rampageous mix of tumbling drums and punchy and funky bass lines. The high tempo electric extravaganza slows a bit on "Echoes from Then" and even more on "Wanderfall," a slow, atmospheric track with beautiful piano and synthesizer melodies by keyboardistGary Husband meshing with subdued background guitar lines.
It is a pure delight to hear McLaughlin and his rock-powered juggernaut 4th Dimension sounding so inspired. The energy and excitement they invest in every sound, including its unparalleled intensity, is really inspiring as they push each other to achieve dizzy musical heights.
Track Listing: Trancefusion; Riff Raff; Echos From Then; Wonderfall; Call and Answer; Not Here Not There; Guitar Love; Take it or Leave It.
Personnel: John McLaughlin: electric guitar, synthesizer-guitar; Gary Husband: keyboards; Etienne M’Bappe: electric bass; Ranjit Barot: drums
Record Label: Abstract Logix
Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock