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Album Review

Move 78: Grains


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Move 78: Grains
A pre-spin hint that this collision of jazz and hip hop is going to be out of the ordinary is apparent from Berlin-based Move 78's lineup. Personnel is Doron Segal synths, Nir Sabag drums, Hal Strewe bass, Meravi Goldman French horn and Aver sampler. On Grains the quintet is joined by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra violist A.J. Nilles, soul-jazz singer Douniah, flautist Roy Amotz and saxophonist Omri Abramov . And it gets even better. Guesting on one track each are guitarist Tal Yadin, percussionist Eric Owusu and Irreversible Entanglements trumpeter Aquiles Navarro.

Grains is Move 78's third studio album. It confronts head on the question first posed by Herbie Hancock on "Rockit," the hit single from his 1983 album, Future Shock (Columbia). The question is: how do you reconcile free-flowing, improvised jazz and programmed, automated hip-hop? Post "Rockit" the question became more urgent with the arrival of digital technology, and has become yet more urgent with the rise of AI.

The answer is the same as it was in the mid-1980s: through articulate musicianship. Which Move 78 and its auxiliary members and guests deliver in spades. Parts of Grains are more "jazz" than others, but substance and artistry rule throughout.

The album was tracked during jams at Trixx studios in Berlin in late 2021 and then chopped up, rearranged and remixed multiple times, with home recordings woven into the final mix. Like Trixx and like Move 78, the eight tracks inhabit both analogue and digital spheres. The result is organic and demonstrates that in the right hands, the title of the third track, "Technologies Of Freedom," is not just wishful thinking.

Track Listing

Unfolding Forms; Grains; Technologies Of Freedom; Neuralgia; Regular Groove; Feed Them To The Machine; D.O.T.S.; Storms Of Our Grandchildren.


Additional Instrumentation

Aver: sampler; Doron Segal: synths; Hal Strewe: bass; Nir Sabag: drums, percussion; Meravi Goldman: French horn; A.J. Nilles: viola; Douniah: voice; Roy Amotz: flute; Omri Abramov: saxophone; Tal Yadin: guitar (1); Aquiles Navarro: trumpet (7); Eric Owusu: percussion (5); Books: sound design (8).

Album information

Title: Grains | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Village Live

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