Machine and the Synergetic Nuts — Leap Second Neutral
(Cuneiform Rune 210, 2005, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01Luckily ethicists have not wrapped their clutches around the topic of genetic manipulation in music, or we might find Machine and the Synergetic Nuts banned, seeing how they are the result of a secret research project combining the DNA of Soft Machine, early Weather Report, and maybe Medeski Martin, and Wood (the creators are understandably secretive about their methods). This quartet plays as if the excesses that gave fusion a bad name had never happened, combining jazz and rock in a way that both hearkens back to the heady days of discovery and basks in the kind of seamless integration of technology and live playing that comes from thirty years’ perspective. The focus is on interesting sounds and insistent grooves rather than stop-start precision and unison lines so fast they blur. Widely varying keyboard sounds, with lots of electric piano and organ run through effects devices, play off saxes for the leads, and the rhythms, whether in straight 4/4 or something more exotic, come off as funky without ever actually being funk. Except when they swing, as on “Neutral,” with its sophisticated acoustic piano and mutated walking bass line. Almost half of the tracks feature a guest guitar player, adding another element of unpredictability to the mix. Machine should act as an effective antidote to the bad rep tagged on fusion over the last thirty years. Take two and call me in the morning.
Related artist(s): Machine and the Synergetic Nuts
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more