480

Tyft: Smell The Difference

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Tyft: Smell The Difference Smell The Difference is the third album by Icelandic guitarist Hilmar Jensson's metallic power trio Tyft, which features longstanding members Andrew D'Angelo (alto saxophone and bass clarinet) and Jim Black (drums). Since the late nineties, Jensson has explored the fertile territory between popular music and jazz improvisation, both with his own ensembles and Jim Black's Alasnoaxis. Where Black draws inspiration from melodic indie rock, Jensson delves deeper, into testosterone fueled heavy metal.

Augmented by horn players Chris Speed (tenor saxophone and clarinet) and Peter Evans (trumpet), this already impressive trio is given a more colorful palette to work with. Jensson continues to seed his compositions with angular melodies, unusual time signatures and pulverizing grooves, using the additional voices for orchestral impact.

Demonstrating an encyclopedic knowledge of underground music trends, Jensson adopts aspects of nu metal ("Smell The Goodness"), punk-funk ("Froth"), thrash metal ("Pittles") and power metal ("Flimbergeist") throughout this visceral set. Augmented with advanced harmonies, intricate polyrhythms, shifting tempos and ornate counterpoint, Jensson and company add surprising new wrinkles to these staid genres, while maintaining a cohesive sensibility.

As the group's foundation, Black embellishes driving rhythms with supple accents and ingenious fills while Jensson balances muscular riffing with dexterous fretwork and searing, feedback laced harmonics. Demonstrating their fluid approach towards form, they slowly deconstruct a punishing metallic riff on "Pittles," until all that remains are scattered fragments of speed metal clichés.

Founding members of the seminal quartet Human Feel (with Jim Black), D'Angelo and Speed's congenial interplay is informed by years of shared history. Their circuitous dialog on "Klondike" is emblematic, reveling in passionate, unfettered abstraction. The contrapuntal clarinet cadenza at the heart of the funky "Kryppa" reveals their tight rapport, while the dulcet opening to "Klinglet" showcases lyrical restraint—two brief reprieves from an otherwise aggressive set.

New to this scene, rising star Evans holds his own in veteran company, plying coruscating dissonances on "Froth" that are stunning in their tonal range. His solo on "Clifton" is a masterpiece of oblique variations, providing a conceptual bridge between Speed's fervid linearity and D'Angelo's caustic skronk. "Flimbergeist" features all three horns in a pithy collective exchange over Jensson and Black's ascending drama—controlled chaos as sanguine anthem.

Buoyed by enthusiastic guest contributions, Smell The Difference is a marked departure from the excellent Meg Nem Sa (Skirl, 2006). Embracing edgier facets of the underground for inspiration, Tyft forges ahead, blazing new paths for jazz and improvised music in the new millennium.


Track Listing: Smell the Goodness; Froth; Pittles; Kryppa; Klondike; Flimbergeist; Clifton; Klinglet.

Personnel: Hilmar Jensson: guitars; Andrew D'Angelo: alto saxophone, bass clarinet; Jim Black: drums; Chris Speed: tenor saxophone, clarinet; Peter Evans: trumpet; Joel Hamilton: electronics (4).

Title: Smell The Difference | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Skirl Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965" CD/LP/Track Review Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Los Guachos V" CD/LP/Track Review Los Guachos V
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 1, 2016
Read "The Frog, The Fish and The Whale" CD/LP/Track Review The Frog, The Fish and The Whale
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "And the Rhythm Serenaders" CD/LP/Track Review And the Rhythm Serenaders
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 22, 2016
Read "The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review The Unknown
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Knock A Hole In It" CD/LP/Track Review Knock A Hole In It
by James Nadal
Published: April 12, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.