The many sides of Tobias Delius and the instincts he spurs in his band are in vibrant evidence on this record. Delius can be a brawny player, his tone big and overwhelming as he struts across the canvas of a song, but he also shows a quieter, pragmatic side that is spelt out in the thoughtful exploration of a theme.
The other members of the band conceptualize the ideas and fashion music that inveigles itself into the senses. However, all of it is not immediate whammy. The abstractions that wend themselves in wisps, as they do on “Star Barnacle,” make an impact only after listening to it several times.
The rest is potent, the kinetic energy crackling right from the time Delius and Jeffery open an intense discourse on “Zwerfvuil.” The tune just as quickly shifts into an odd time signature before that development is tamed by swing. Delius goes on a craggy swipe but De Joode and his baby bass keep the pulse ticking with a 4/4 beat. The interplay takes on a more inventive path on the ensemble passages and the slight shifts of timbre.
A funky groove is unleashed on “Bugar.” Gueye takes his African drumming in up-front conversion with Delius, who honks and spits inspiring Jeffery to swing before Delius dips into that realm himself, voicing big, bold arches. Gueye builds a majestic edifice, a rainbow hue of rhythm, a resplendent texture of dynamics on the solo “Message.” Free mode captures “Pok,” a whirligig for the cries of Delius, the scrappy arco of De Joode, the yowls from Jeffery, and the calm control of Gueye’s percussion. There is a method in this invention and an attractive magnetism as well.
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