Three makes a party
Binker and Moses have established themselves within the U.K. jazz scene over the years, and after a significant hiatus from their albums, they are back and better than ever. Binker and Moses’ 2017 album, Journey to the Mountain of Forever, back in 2017 felt momentous in size and scope. Their newest release takes the same creativity and flows from the former, but sculpts it into a more manageable intake. The traditional duo comprising of Binker Golding on sax and Moses Boyd on drums, introduces a third member: Max Luthert. Luthert provides the significant electronic elements on Feeding The Machine, yet at times he feels too pushed in the background. However, there are some serious mixing and electronic highlights throughout this strong, six-track album.
“Active-Multiple-Fetish- Overlord,” boasts not only a great title but some fantastic electronic distortion that creates a chaotic overlay of jazz sounds. “Asynchronous Intervals” is another track that seems to highlight Luthert’s capabilities. With an ambient backdrop, Binker’s saxophone can flicker in the dark-sounding atmosphere. The track begins to ramp up in tone and speed over the eleven minutes, in the end concluding with a fury of music hitting from all directions.
Feeding The Machine is a jazz album that is never dull. Its strength is in its ability to dodge and weave between expression and technique. This style peaks in the middle of the album. “Accelerometer Overdose” shifts between powerful ambiguity and control. The track opens with a subtle buzzing and a heap of calming saxophone notes. This shifts as the drums dance around the kit, creating non-expecting sounds. By the three-minute marker, the track opens up to a fantastic rock beat that sounds straight out of an old rock tune. The track continues to escalate in scale and tempo, introducing synth keys and solos throughout, only to conclude with a frenzy of free-form jazz.
This mix of unstructured and structured keys blends to create a rollercoaster of instrumentation. Throughout the electronic elements and layers of sounds, there is some really impressive craftsmanship. The album demonstrates that Binker and Moses are virtuosi within their fields. “Feed infinite” creates some stand-out drumming highlights, as the intro pairs well with Moses’ sticking and cross-stick sounds. The elaborate drum beat only builds into something more complex, like it’s adapting over time. “After The Machine Settles” also undergoes the same metaphors. While containing the same drum feel as “Accelerometer Overdose,” this track feels like a glitchy dream, pulling listeners back in time. Electronically, the track sets the mood and elevates the drumming.
The three musicians work incredibly well together to create an album that mixes elements from a variety of genres. While there is a genuine explosive excitement in the saxophone and drums, the electronic elements provide the backdrop to do so. This works so well, but there is a hint of curiosity wondering what if it was the opposite. This curious thought allowed the want for the same potential of electronic chaos, thus allowing Luthert to improv.
The closing track “Because Because” provides an excellent snake-charming saxophone that can’t help to soothe the ears. While I was expecting a completely bombarding closure to the album, “Because Because” still excelled at wrapping up the album. Its washing ambient tones feel like a friend walking you out the door and saying goodbye.
Feeding The Machine is an album that morphs over each track, starting and ending as something completely different. While there is consistency and rhythm throughout, it is never defined by it. The trio seems to always know when to accent their instrument and how to make them pop, allowing form in an album so diverse in sound. The ever-changing sounds throughout never overwhelm or feel unintentional, rather they layer together to form a whole sound. The addition of electronic elements to a more traditional free-form jazz group is a great addition, as Luthert steps in to create a new dynamic sound for the group. It is hard not to admire how well the saxophone and drums are highlighted throughout, as well as admiration for those who play them