(Emanem)

Badland are Simon Rose on alto sax, Simon H.Fell on double bass and Steve Noble on percussion. This trio plays a sequence of extended improvisations ranging from controlled passages that could even find some use in avant-theatre soundtracks to full-blown uncontrollable music (don’t call it “free jazz” because it ain’t), differing elements fusing in lawless blasts of extracurricular instrumental possibilities. Adjectives such as “elegant” or “subliminal” are pretty much banned from Badland’s idiom; Rose exhalts harmonics and ferocious intentions through his howling phrasing, which often has the flavour of conscious desperation. In thoroughly detached seriousness Fell is nevertheless able to bomb our chest with low-end grenades, showing his most radical face yet never losing composure. Noble’s surprising figurations gain muscle thanks to a precise choice of colours from his set, which he uses like a super-glue between varying transitions and solo spots, parts of a giant mosaic whose nuances derive from the individual essences of the participants more than their instruments. Difficult, fervent music that might burn quickly but it’s not easily forgettable.

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