Chat Noir — Hyperuranion
(RareNoise RNR104, 2019, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2019-06-19
Italian electronic jazz explorers Chat Noir are back after three years with Hyperuranion, and the duo of Michele Cavillari (keyboards) and Luca Fogagnolo (bass) has expanded to a quartet with the addition of Moritz Baumgärtner (drums) and Daniel Calvi (guitar, synthesizers). The well-known trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær is also on board for four of the nine tracks. Hyperuranion finds the group ranging even further astray from traditional sounds into a realm where the “jazz” label is even more tenuous, and even existing labels for flavors of electronic music seem inadequate. At times, groups such as Supersilent, The Tronosonic Experience, and Jaga Jazzist come to mind, as well as some of Cuong Vu’s more electronic work, but I can’t think of anything that’s got the same blend of real and programmed beats with jazzy grooves and acoustic and electric instruments. Moods and textures are more important than blowing here, so solos are subtle rather than up-front, and a cool, relaxed vibe permeates the music. Which is not to say it’s without energy, just that the music isn’t in your face with aggressive sound. So call it jazz, or don’t, but it doesn’t matter. If your enjoyment of music isn’t limited by how much it conforms to established genres, Chat Noir has a chance with you. I find it’s a very attractive mix, and enjoy it a lot.
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