Visceral, cutting-edge fusion by an Aussie power trio. Indaba is apparently a Bantu pygmy word for “something serious”, an apt name for this hard-hitting band and their debut disc. Commendable chops and crunch aplenty season a fully enjoyable set of original tunes by a band which is sure to make waves in the future.
Schipke, Wenham and Dean are equal partners in this aural assault; each player is mixed loud for maximum effect as they weave in and out of each other’s parts sinuously. A slow, charming stroll from Wenham’s bass kicks off “Nina” before an intricate unison melody explodes forth. The bassist walks joyfully in time with Dean’s powerful pounding as Schipke grinds in off-time passion. “Joie de Vie” brings the listener to the edge of his seat with phenomenally speedy high notes and Jaco-quality finger-funk from Wenham. Schipke tempers his lightning chop displays with strong, carefully crafted slow figures. Dean isn’t just a pound-monkey himself; he adapts to turnarounds on a dime and strikes letter-perfect accents to egg the others on.
Things quiet down on “Slow Glass” and “I Don’t Know...” as the players create attractive ballad statements. Schipke’s crystalline offerings are especially inviting on the former, and Wenham vibrantly fronts the latter. “I Started Out...”, the oddly named “0.25 Fish” and “Absolute Mobility” stride the line between jazz fusion and raw metal to excellent effect. The closing tune is uplifting, celebrating the joy to be found in musical creation.
While Indaba clearly know the mechanics of fusion as it preceded them, they can hardly be considered derivative. They use the time-tested formulas as basic frameworks to create dazzling, jubilant music that one can return to time and again. Good-time fusion from the land Down Under, impressively done and ready to please.