On Bani Ahead, Slivovitz’s delectable instrumental casserole of violin, woodwinds, brass, harmonica, electric guitar, and potent rhythm section exhibits such finely-calibrated ensemble playing that the players sound like a single organism — whether executing dizzying unison passages, engaging in ingenious dovetailing melodic counterpoint, or supporting an impassioned solo.
There’s more richness of detail here than on any ten albums by the latest vaunted ‘neo-prog’ bands, with a wholly refreshing lack of attitude or affect. Slivovitz’s music has been likened to that of the great Frank Zappa and at times recalls the rarefied chamber-rock of RIO artists such as Henry Cow. From the opener “Egiziaca” with its odd-metered Balkan-flavored melodic figures juxtaposed against gritty overdriven guitar, to the serpentine ensemble passages of “Cleopatra Through,” to the brooding, enigmatic “Opus Focus,” Bani Ahead represents a new benchmark for a band quickly cementing their reputation as one of Europe’s upcoming purveyors of progressive instrumental music of any kind.
… and on 27th September Moraine release Metamorphic Rock: Live at NEARfest
Since releasing their widely acclaimed debut CD manifest deNsity (MJR028) in 2009, Seattle’s Moraine has quickly built a reputation as one of the most electrifying and original instrumental rock bands anywhere — winning over listeners across the globe with its unique amalgam of art rock, forward-thinking jazz, world music, and more.
The band ups the ante with its highly-anticipated new release, Metamorphic Rock: Live at NEARfest, a blazing concert performance engineered for maximum sonic impact by legendary Pacific Northwest producer Steve Fisk. Captured in peak form at NEARfest 2010, Moraine wowed listeners with their inventive compositions, formidable musicianship, and tightly meshed interplay. Documenting a major advance in the group’s evolution from its chamber-rock origins toward a more forceful and dynamic sound, Metamorphic Rock consists largely of new and previously unreleased material, augmented by a number of radically retooled tunes from manifest deNsity. Metamorphic Rock amply demonstrates that Moraine, like its geological namesake, is truly a force of nature.