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Spinifex: Hipsters Gone Ballistic

Eyal Hareuveni By

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The Amsterdam-based group Spinifex—named after a tough Australian species of grass—is a modular collective of Dutch musicians. The Spinifex quintet that released its debut, the aptly titled Hipsters Gone Ballistic, is a part of a collective that includes the Spinifex Orchestra (that released its debut Triodia back in 2008 on Karnatic Lab Records), Spinifex Tuba Band and Spinifex Indian Spin.

The quintet distills elements from all the above mentioned outfits, contrasting extremely tight, irregular structures and rhythms with explosive free improvisations and disciplined math- metal precision with playful Indian Karnatic rhythmic elements. All selections are played with sheer abandon and joyful passion, from the first second to the last one.

All compositions feature restless shifts and complex dynamics as well as the highly collaborative and versatile interplay of this well-rehearsed quintet. "Boo" shifts naturally, back and forth between a melodramatic metal suite, minimal yet intense sonic searches and the post-bop solo singing of alto saxophonist Tobias Klein. "Joint Strike Focker" erupts like a supersonic missile, abruptly suspended in mid-flight then launched back into its roaring course. "Rost" begins with Tambura-like drones before it settles on a rare, gentle groove and patient interplay. It eventually climaxes into an inevitable, eruptive coda. "Flying Object Fort Worth—Umeå—Sheffield" finally spices the bombastic dynamics of the quintet with much needed doses of humor and irony. The most impressive piece is an inspired, uplifting cover of Karnatic composer and singer Papanasam Sivan, "Sre Valli Devasenapathe," that sounds like a spin on their fellow countrymen The Ex's Ethiopian covers.

No doubt, the hipsters went on a wild ride.

Track Listing: Hipsters Gone Ballistic; Boo; V; Joint Strike Focker; Rost; Lotigus; Flying Object Fort Worth - Umeå - Sheffield; Waste Land Jam; Sre Valli Devasenapathe.

Personnel: Gijs Levelt: trumpet; Tobias Klein: alto saxophone; Jasper Stadhouders: guitar; Gonçalo Almeida: bass guitar; Philipp Moser: drums.

Title: Hipsters Gone Ballistic | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: TryTone

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