The Epic Botanical Beat Suitethe fourth release from percussionist Adam Rudolph's ever-evolving Hu Vibrationalis a trance-inducing rhythmic trip.
Rudolph, the man behind the bulky Go: Organic Orchestra and the Moving Pictures Octet, has always been adept at creating distinct outfits. Hu Vibrational has served as his vehicle for blending African rhythms, minimalistic tides, and electronica-influenced sounds into hypnotic soundscapes. In the past, this mutable band has been a bit heavier in sound yet lighter on personnel. The version of Hu Vibrational that's featured on The Epic Botanical Beat Suitecontaining seven percussionists, guitar wizard Eivind Aarset, bansuri flutist Steve Gorn , bassist-producer Bill Laswell, and Fender Rhodes ace Alex Marcelocreates a heady sonic stew with far more breathing room than one might expect with such a lineup.
When thinking of seven percussionists in one place, "subtle" isn't a word that would normally come to mind. But that's the right word to describe the contributions made by Rudolph, Tim Kieper, Keita Ogawa, Brahim Frigbane, James Hurt, Matt Kilmer, and Tripp Dudley. This crew artfully blends together to create a seamless tapestry of rhythm that shows great tensile strength yet remains texturally thin, for the most part. When these percussionists merge with the mind-expanding contributions of Aarset ("Soma"), the colorful bansuri work of Gorn ("Agobi"), the here-and-gone bass of Laswell ("Ya-Jey"), and the glaze of Marcelo's Fender Rhodes, the end results are mesmerizing.
Those looking for slamming beats, hook-laden melodies, or harmonically complex scenarios won't find them here. This is a different type of band with a different set of goals. Hu Vibrational is all about communing with the groove spirits and creating worlds where earthy rhythms and other-worldly sounds are one.