COMPOSERS: Nels Cline
LABELS: Mack Avenue
ALBUM TITLE: Macroscope
PERFORMER: Nels Cline (guitar), Scott Amendola (drums), Trevor Dunn (bass) etc
CATALOGUE NO: MAC1085
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.