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The band known as HiM need not explain their name to us. Like Sting or Prince we wonder how to address their music. Is it Mr. HiM, those HiM guys? Or maybe they should have called themselves Teo, because the name Macero comes to mind every time I hear their discs. Point Of Departure follows up their 1999 Sworn Eyes and their work on various compilations. Teo Macero played the part of Miles Davis electronics engineer and producer in the late 1960s and early 70s. Here it’s Doug Scharin who cuts and splices the music laid down by the assembled musicians.
The 1999 Sworn Eyes recording featured Jeff Parker and Rob Mazurek of Chicago Underground and Isotope 217 fame. Where their previous effort was all spacey and ambient dub textured, Our Point Of Departure brings it in a percussion laden stream. HiM doesn’t ignore the past, in fact their music reloads the darkness that was Miles Davis’ vision of a Live Evil or jam session and recontexualizes to the modern condition. Scharin takes care not to even out the rough edges of music as he transforms the studio tracks into movements, segmented by beats and the odd improvisations. If Louis Armstrong was considered a modern primitive in 1930, HiM’s post-modern primitivism is yet another return to roots music. Electric bass and guitars, percussive effects and studio reverb stripped to its essence takes the listener back to a future vision we’ll call splice jam.
Where most modern day studio manipulations sound sterile and perfect, HiM could very well be a live album. Maybe we should insist their next one be just that!
Track Listing: Arrival; Liberation Part I; Liberation Part II; Third Wish; Weary Not Beaten; Persistent Life.
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.