Saturday, March 07, 2015

Hypercolor - Hypercolor (Tzadik, 2015)

Hypercolor is an excellent jazz-rock trio consisting of Eyal Maoz on guitar, James Ilgenfritz on bass, and Lukas Ligeti on drums. They match their powerful ferocity with poignant lyricism making for a consistently interesting sound. The album opens with “Squeaks” which is a fast and fun opener, rocking hard, developing touches of funk and intricate interplay. “Chen” has a medium tempo with thick bass and powerful drumming. Pyrotechnic guitar ratchets up the music to a higher level. Slower and thoughtful, “Forget” builds up the tension with a strong rockish feel but still yearning, while electric bass bubbles up and plays off the other two instruments. “Ernesto” features strong drumming that is continuously moving and probing guitar looking for an opening. They take a medium-up tempo, with Maoz producing liquid drops of guitar tone. A more abstract song is “Glowering” where squiggles and chimes pick up the pace with some slashing guitar and heavier drums adding to the mix. “Palace” is a fast juggernaut of frenetic guitar and drumming with Ilgenfritz’s bass prodding everyone along. Nothing is held back as the band takes on a relentless slash and burn approach. The trio comes out of the gate hard again on “Transit” building a metallic funk feel with shards of guitar against shifting bass and drums. There is a loose midsection, and then the music moves through a well played bass led section, concluding with a collective improvisation that is strong and hard. The final performances on the album “Little” and “Quixotic” slow the pace down a bit allowing the music to open up and breathe, quieter and mysterious, building to a melodic majesty, like a longing for something lost. This is a very well played album by a very exciting band. It is accessible for both fans of rock and modern jazz, and hopefully there will be more music from this trio to come. Hypercolor -

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