Friday, September 07, 2018

District Five - Decoy (Intakt Records, 2018)

District Five in an exciting young band featuring Xaver Rüegg on bass, Tapiwa Svosve on alto saxophones and synthesizers, Vojko Huter on guitar and synthesizers and Paul Amereller on drums. Don't let the electronics scare you away, this is a strong improvising jazz band. The album begins with "Berlin" which has evocative shades of guitar, setting the mood of the piece and presumably the city, as bass and percussion gradually fill in the sound. The horn finally enters as the performance takes flight, gaining in volume and tempo in a collective improvisation that keeps developing momentum under the direction of fine interaction between saxophone and drums, adding subtle electronics to the mix for further excitement. "Crypro Clone" keeps the performance streamlined with everyone pushing forward, and achieving  a lightness of tone that belies the power of the performance. The music twists and turns in an unexpected manner, keeping things fresh, with atmospheric electric guitar anchoring the middle section with graceful saxophone taking the music for a patient spin, gradually building an impressive, architecturally sound statement, with ample support from the remainder of the group. "Reminiscence" is a spare ballad with waves of keyboard and watery guitar evoking the early Pat Metheny ECM recordings.. The music is quite pretty trailing pastel colors in the sky, as nimble percussion keeps it within range of the Earth. Spare tides of sound roll outward like a steadily creeping fog, building a haunting soundscape that is cut by occasional bursts of guitar. "Maths" uses chunky electronic keyboards and guitar to develop into a powerhouse prog rock / jazz fusion groove. The beat is hard and the musicians take no prisoners casting electronic spells and evoking scouring electric guitar."Decoy" has a slow and mysterious sound to it, hazy and spectral saxophone enters gliding across the surface of the music, forming a spare and languid ballad performance, leading into "Recall" which closes the album, building up from brushed percussion and soft saxophone, with electric guitar snaking through the undergrowth, developing into an interesting solo section backed with bass and drums. The saxophone caves out room of its own in the midsection, taking the cue from gently played guitar chords and then pushing faster into a memorable solo of its own. Decoy -

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