All great music, at least in the jazz and improvisation world, shares a resonance of back to the future. Call it a placeholder, or flag planted so listeners can find their way, not only back, but forward. The trio Ritual Habitual plants that flag with Pagan Chant as an invitation to accompany them on a journey into a future's past. Theirs is a straightforward trio (reeds/bass/drums) with the intention to carry forward the past on their self constructed rocket ship.
Portuguese double bassist Gonçalo Almeida (The Attic, Lama Trio, Tetterapadequ, and Spinifex) teams up with German-born drummer Philipp Ernsting, both members of the punk-metal-free jazz-noise band Albatre, and Italian-born saxophonist Riccardo Marogna who also dives deep into electronic manipulation. While the music is forward facing with electro washes present, it is built upon conventions. "The Womb" opens the recording not unlike a John Coltrane procession, Marogna's tenor saxophone accompanied by Almeida's strong pulse and the Elvin Jones-like accents of Ernsting. What is different is the electro-acoustic wash, that permeates here and throughout the recording. As the first track bleeds into "Rite Of Passage," the current follows with looped percussive waves and the echoey bowed bass before Marogna's bass clarinet joins in this electronic echo chamber of tribal music. The title track detonates an audacious tenor workout against the popcorn pop of electronic circuits. That energy carries over into "Dionysus Carnival" and more tribal sounds, that is if our world music now extends to other galaxies. By the time we get to the finale, "The Eulogy," we are back to a future Coltrane exploration. This is impressive stuff.
The Womb; Rite Of Passage; Psilocybe Cubensis; Pagan Chant; Dionysus Carnival; The Eulogy.