After a momentous start in the mid 2000s with saxophonist Pete Wareham's Acoustic Ladyland and his own band, Polar Bear, drummer Sebastian Rochford's path through British jazz has been distinguished, though not without the odd glitch. The highs have been Himalayan. Perhaps most notably, he played a key role in reeds player Shabaka Hutchings' Sons of Kemet, and is heard on Burn (Naim, 2013), Lest We Forget What We Came Here To Do (Naim, 2015) and Your Queen Is A Reptile (Impulse!, 2018). All three albums are landmarks in the unfolding story of the new London jazz . Outwith these bands, Rochford has a string of sideman and guest musician credits of epic breadth and biblical length, from Ingrid Laubrock's quartet in the mid 2000s through Brian Eno and Herbie Hancock and on to Patti Smith in 2016.
Rochford's latest project, Pulled By Magnets, is one of only a few underwhelming moments (such as ambitiously conceived but dull in execution albums with thereminist Pamelia Kurstin and jaw-harpist David Coulter). With Pete Wareham and bass guitarist Neil Charles (Zed-U, Empirical) on board, the group can be expected to shift tectonic plates, and it does. But the music is overburdened with warp-by-numbers sub-grindcore noise. The abiding impression is of those disaster-in-a-submarine movies in which, as the craft sinks deeper and deeper into the depths, the pressure on its hull produces straining, groaning sounds warning of impending doom. Some may enjoy listening to that. Others may not.
Nowhere Nothing; Slow Shrouded Isle; Breath That Sparks; Those Among Us; The Immortal Fire; Cold Regime People Die; Within; The Moon Of Oduglin; Invite Them In.
Pete Wareham: saxophone; Neil Charles: bass guitar; Seb Rochford: drums.
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