– GUERRILLA WARFARE –
The 13-headed hydra known as The Paradox Ensemble re-form for the first time since 2013’s Entanglement, bringing with them all the electronic trickery, old-skool jazz influences and western African rhythms that made them such a compelling listen the first time around.
Led by trumpeter Nick Walters, it was actually band member Tenderlonious, aka Ed Cawthorne, who initiated the rounding up of troops last year.
The result was 2019’s Awakening, from which 34268 is the lead-off track.
On an album which has songs influenced by legendary cricket commentator Henry Blofeld (Dear Old Thing), Hindu philosophy (Brahman) and the ancient Greek philosopher Zeno (Zeno), you might think that 34268 might be one of the more straight-forward offerings.
It is not.
As the band’s publicity states; “inspired by an Agbadja rhythm from Togo,  features two ways of emphasizing the same rhythmic motif – the first half a slower pulse of three beats to the bar before quickening to a four to the floor groove for the second half.” Which is a polite way of saying, it’s pretty bloody clever.
Add to that a classic Walters solo and what you have is a riotous celebration of a piece that only gets better as it grows across it’s generous eight-minute staying time.
Awakening is out now through Walters’ own 22a label.
MORE FROM THIS WEEK’S MIX
TAYLOR McFERRIN: NOW THAT YOU NEED ME
YAZZ AHMED: SHOAL OF SOULS
LUCINDA CHUA: FEEL SOMETHING
ELIANE ELIAS: BABY COME TO ME
P.S. You can find all of the tracks reviewed above in the 45 Revolutions per Minute playlist below or click to access the 45 RPM Playlist on Spotify itself.
If you like what you hear (or even if you don’t), please engage in dialogue with me @45rpm_Reviews on Twitter. And, if you’d like to receive updates weekly, please subscribe to the email list to get these recommendations sent to your inbox weekly.
– SV –