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Spin Marvel: Infolding

John Ephland By

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A cross somewhere between Jon Hassell and Brian Eno, there's a funky brilliance here that keeps me coming back for more. There are jams packed into all six pieces, a bunch of running around in and outside of meters, serious soloing without being serious (or at least, showing off). The Hassell and Eno references, of course, come from certain periods (Fourth World and beyond), both being decades old by now but still sounding fresh. But unlike both of them, by mixing the two but going past them both (and others), Spin Marvel upends the regular, rhythmic flow of the former, while interrupting the suspended tranquility of the latter.

With Infolding, Spin Marvel returns, once again keeping things from being predictable, using lots of reverb with spacious sky here, a churning almost claustrophobic grunge somewhere else. The band sports a welcomed blend (or balance; not sure) between singular voices and a seemingly spontaneous group sound. Given that all the music is original, it's anyone's guess how they arrived at such destinations. Needless to say, though, with Nils Petter Molvaer's searching, sometimes scorching, sometimes somber trumpet the most upfront but somehow still in the midst of this mix with others, Infolding could be, like early Weather Report, a kind of soundtrack for any movie currently showing in your mind. Drummer Martin France with bassist Tim Harries maintain a groove- less groove, taking sideswipes at backbeats, restlessly (and not so restlessly) inserting rubato forms seemingly at random, setting up very listenable platforms for Molvaer and live electrician Terje Evensen's sonic explorations. "Leap Second" perhaps best exemplifies this potent cocktail of sound and gesture.

"Same Hand Swiss Double Pug" begins with what seems like a creepy unanswered/unanswerable ringing phone, the phone's cadence of a certain meter that the band feeds off of but doesn't imitate. That "phone" is both a form of technology and a kind of loose-limbed metronome, only to disappear as the band settles into their own free-floating, more organic pulse. It's a haunted house in space with tenuous ties to earth, courtesy of Harries' plodding bass lines and France's most formal pulse on Infolding, his approach a kind of drunk marching drummer of one somehow managing to still steer the proceedings. Eventually morphing into a sickly, untidy crawl, "Same Old Hand" has no place to go, no other hand to shake, in a solar system of wet pavements and burned-out streetlights, any trace of ambience now lost forever amidst the unsettled sonic debris, storms tossing everything in sight hither and yon before this endless night is over.

With additional drummer Emre Ramazanoglu adding heft to the closer, "Minus Two," the funky clutter mixes with effects in another atmospheric tour de force. Drum punctuations compete with sheets of aural electronics toward a quiet climax. In other words, the end to another perfect "day."

Track Listing: Canonical; Tuesday's Blues; Two Hill Town; Leap Second; Same Hand Swiss Double Pug; Minus Two.

Personnel: Nils Petter Molvaer: trumpet; Martin France: drums; Terje Evensen: live electronics; Tim Harries: bass; Emre Ramazanoglu: drums (6).

Title: Infolding | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: RareNoiseRecords

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