Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

1

Leverton Fox: Velcro Bird

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
Leverton Fox was formed in 2007 when trumpeter/electronicist Alex Bonney, drummer/electronicist Tim Giles and guitarist/electronicist Matt Groom came together. That trio released Country Dances (Gravid Hands, 2009) but by the release of The Human Arm (Not Applicable, 2012) Groom had been replaced by Sam Britton on electronics. The line-up has remained stable ever since, through the release of Smart Casual (Not Applicable, 2013) and now this fourth album, with the only complication being Britton's use of pseudonyms. Here he is credited as Isambard Khroustaliov, whose birth name is given as Helmut Zeit. Odd as that is, there can be no doubt that it is Britton playing electronics here.

Although Bonney and Giles both have considerable experience of jazz and improv and are members of London's Loop Collective, on Velcro Bird all three players are featured on electronics and at times the resulting soundscape is exclusively electronic. So, rather than owing a debt to jazz, this music is far more in the tradition of Daphne Oram, Delia Derbyshire and other BBC Radiophonic Workshop pioneers of electronic music. That is particularly true of the two brief matching tracks, "Annika" and "Rice," which open and close the album like bookends.

The album's nine tracks, totalling fifty-three minutes, are consistent with the group's past work but the three players sound more integrated than before and their music more coherent. Bonney's cornet is treated to sound more electronic than before, so feels like a natural part of the ensemble sound, not bolted-on. Giles' drums are the only instrumental sounds that are unmistakably not electronic and are vital in propelling the music along naturally in a way that never sounds remotely robotic.

Across the album there is great variety in the dynamic levels and tempos of the tracks so that it never gets into a rut and keeps throwing up fresh surprises. At its most dynamic, as on "Salon Selecta" (see YouTube clip, below) the music has a compelling momentum that makes it great driving music, Kraftwerk for the new millennium. In contrast, the extended three-part suite "Racoon Coat" relies less on power, being more spacious, subtle and nuanced.

In the past, Leverton Fox have been compared to an astonishing variety of other groups. Velcro Bird demonstrates that such comparisons serve no purpose, as this trio sets its own rules.


Track Listing: Annika; Onglet; Horse Finger; Salon Selecta; Velcro Bird; Racoon Coat – Part 1 (Duffle); Racoon Coat – Part 2 (Parka); Racoon Coat – Part 3 (Trench); Rice.

Personnel: Alex Bonney: cornet, electronics; Tim Giles: drums, electronics; “Isambard Khroustaliov”: electronics.

Title: Velcro Bird | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Not Applicable


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read "Aerial" CD/LP/Track Review Aerial
by Pascal-Denis Lussier
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Eka" CD/LP/Track Review Eka
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 21, 2017
Read "Six Easy Pieces" CD/LP/Track Review Six Easy Pieces
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 5, 2017
Read "Nightfall" CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 11, 2017
Read "The Harry Warren Song Book" CD/LP/Track Review The Harry Warren Song Book
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 31, 2017
Read "Liberation Narratives" CD/LP/Track Review Liberation Narratives
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 31, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!