Pinski Zoo

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Pinski Zoo
LABELS: Slam
ALBUM TITLE: Pinski Zoo
WORKS: Pinski Zoo
PERFORMER: Jan Kopinski (saxophone), Steve Iliffe (keyboards), Karl Bingham, Stefan Kopinski (bass), Steve Harris (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: CD 266
With members involved in a range of extra-curricular projects, Pinski Zoo haven’t released an album since De-Icer, a stunning performance captured live in 1993. After Image, drawn from concerts across England between 2002 and 2005, has been worth the wait.

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This classic quartet have been augmented for some while by Kopinski junior on additional bass. He and bassist Karl Bingham constitute a sharp, well-focused unit, threading lines of clarity and strength through the band’s crowded, polytonal canvas.

Pinski Zoo are still somewhat uncategorisable (I would plump for

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‘post-punk-funk-harmolodicism’ if pressed). They remain uniquely exciting, danceable and darkly atmospheric, powering irresistible pulses without stooping to tediously inflexible beats. Pinski Zoo conjure nebulous, magical, mysterious soundscapes from forbidding ranks of hardware and they can also enchant with tender melodies plucked from the rowdiest mêlée. Less ferocious than of yore, perhaps, but there’s a much-extended palette. Here, Steve Harris is nimble and texture-savvy on drums, Steve Iliffe a master of colour on keyboards and Jan Kopinski’s saxes as gorgeous and passionate as ever. Barry Witherden