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The Eclectic Maybe Band: The Blind Night Watchers' Mysterious Landscapes

Glenn Astarita By

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Among other positive opinions, UK-based Discus Music cranks out one audiophile quality album after another. The experimental label does not cut corners, and taking into consideration the disparate soundstages, tonal attributes and instrumentation, the music often simulates 3D-like sonic characteristics. These factors also come in handy when demoing stereo equipment at your local high-end dealer. Otherwise, The Eclectic Maybe Band created these gems via an instantaneous compositional approach, where jazz meets rock, and musical syntaxes possibly emanating from distant galaxies.

The musicians wave their magic wands during these semi-structured and largely improvised tracks compiled with amorphous sound-shaping additives, free jazz, sharp contrasts, blossoming progressions, subliminal EFX backwashes and disquieting panoramas. But subtle surprises appear throughout. For instance, on "Gradual Assistance" drummer Dirk Wachtelaer's silvery cymbal swashes spawn a sense of urgency amid glowing timbral qualities that shadow Guy Segers simple bass line and Roland Binet's supple flute work. Although the plot takes a 360-degree turn on the following track, "Second Permission Secrete," where a loping, laisse faire groove generated by the drummer's sweeping, pulsating brushes and Catherine Smet's clement synth phrasings offset a diminished melody line. Here, Joe Higham's breezy and sleek soprano sax lines are dappled with undulating electronic treatments, and Belgian guitar hero Michel Delville's (Wrong Object, Machine Mass) grinding distortion techniques and scathing rock leads.

"Gobsmacked Distraction" starts with Smet's carnival-like organ vamp and free jazz piano choruses atop the drummer's peppery support; Seger's nimble bass notes, and a sped up jazz rock motif, lead to multiple conversations taking place in unison. But Delville once again plays the devil's advocate due to his frenzied and slashing e-guitar licks. Moving forward, the band chooses a different strategy with "Suppot Provisoire," which is improvised atop Wachtelaer's medium-tempo backbeat, and radiated by his crisp hi-hat pulse and snappy snare drum hits. Add Binet's jazzy flute soloing, Smet's punctuated comping, Segers melodic passages and the band generates a cheery vibe. Even though it's improvised, the musicians' telepathic interaction infers a well-rehearsed composition.

There are tracks containing mystical flutes, bizarre samples, and oddball electronics permutations, as each piece iterates a distinct story that never sounds the same on subsequent listens. Hence, the quality quotient and a little trickery help generate an invigorating music phenomenon, tinted with kaleidoscopic overtones and detailed subplots.

Track Listing: Pluie Étanche; En Absence D'Action; Gradual Assistance; Second Permission Secrete; E-Forks And Ornaments; Gobsmacked Distraction; Hidden Wave Variation; Suppot Provisoire; Erased Evidence.

Personnel: Roland Binet: flute, tenor saxophone (6); Joe Higham: electronics, soprano saxophone, doudouk (7); Michel Delville: electric guitar; Catherine Smet: keyboards; Guy Segers: bass, samplers (5); Dirk Wachtelaer: drums.

Title: The Blind Night Watchers' Mysterious Landscapes | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Discus Music

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