Nels Cline Singers: Macroscope

A
a
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Album title:
Macroscope
Composer(s):
Nels Cline
Works:
Macroscope
Performer:
Nels Cline (guitar), Scott Amendola (drums), Trevor Dunn (bass) etc
Label:
Mack Avenue
Catalogue Number:
MAC1085
Performance:
starstarstarstarstar
Recording:
starstarstarstarstar
5
Reviewer:
BBC Music Magazine
Nels Cline Singers: Macroscope

There are not, and never have been, any ‘singers’ in this band, although Cline does occasionally use his voice as a texture, as on ‘Macroscopic’ and ‘Respira’, which manages the trick of being both simultaneously busy and reflective. The basic trio of guitar, bass and drums is perfectly capable of creating a wide-range of moods and atmospheres, and does, but Cline, Dunn and Amendola vary their options further with various electronic resources and some distinguished guests on several tracks.

They cover a wide range of styles from straight jazz to borderline thrash and noise via funk, rock, ballads and alternative folk, all done with fluency, imagination, panache and a touch of humour. Sometimes they lock into a riff or a groove but never let it outstay its welcome, and their playing is nothing if not flexible. The music is full of surprises, confounding expectations while adhering to solid artistic logic.

Barry Witherden

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