Wednesday, July 15, 2020
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Artist: Let Spin
Title: Steal The Light
Format: CD + Download
Label: Efpi Records

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Let Spin almost exist in two distinct parallel realities, their live performances are driven by an intoxicating, visceral energy, momentum building inexorably before crashing into frenzied climax. Their studio offerings lose none of this power but integrate the idea of the studio as a medium in itself. An extra layer of complexity and depth is added with the post-production additions and manipulation. There is no concept of one being a commentary on the other they both exist as statements perfectly apposite for their environments.

The four piece supergroup of Chris Williams (alto sax), Moss Freed (guitar), Ruth Goller (Bass) and Finlay Panter (drums) put their egalitarian philosophy at the front of their identification and it is easy to hear why aside from their sharing of compositional duties. This is music that depends on micro-level interaction and sympathy. Their individuality clearly expressed but subsumed by service to the music, each pulling and testing the limits of self-expression within the ensemble. Starting from common inception they pull at threads, weaving through the layers of possibilities, stretching the elastic parameters of improvisational exposition before coalescing, returning as if through the prism of a greater understanding and eschewing mere recapitulation.

Stuttering, stumbling grooves and shifting time feel like cornerstones of this album. Restless and unpredictable foundations juxtaposed with flowing melodic lines, dirty, industrial grooves and beats as contrast to ethereal beauty and linear exposition, everyone in turn assuming propelling, supporting and elevating roles, switching swiftly as each turn refocuses energy and direction.

Goller’s bass at the start of the albums single Sketch explodes with crackling hard-edged rock intensity, driven by Panter’s incandescent hip-hop flavoured drumming, the track feels headed towards a febrile avant-rock bonfire before the subversion of Williams and Freed’s entry with beautiful wide open harmonic lines, evoking an ECM/Frisell-esque dream state, red and white hot flames pulling and feeding each other before a turn-on-a-dime change in pace. Let Spin are a dextrous ensemble, their music is complex but deceptively beautiful, able to imbue rhythmic complexity and harmonic adventurousness with an an effortless mastery, at turns provocative and playful.

Ghostly produced by Kit Downes sets itself apart without incongruity, recut and multi-layered, with sonic reminiscences of Naked City’s Absinthe and Kagel’s Improvisation Ajoutee, the joyful, transcendental chaos and convergence of this track makes the three year gestation from recording to release, and the five years since 2015’s Let Go worth the wait alone.

Each of the album’s tracks are individual sonic edifices deserving and rewarding of repeated listening, explosive and beautiful at first listen there is more here than it is possible to digest without immersion.


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