Exposé Online banner

Machine Mass — Plays Hendrix
(Moonjune MJR, 2017, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-07-16

Plays Hendrix Cover art

Machine Mass regulars Tony Bianco (drums) and Michel Delville (guitar, loops, samples, and electronics) this time have teamed up with keyboard player Antoine Guenet of The Wrong Object and others (MM has always operated as a trio, with a different third man on each new release) to tackle the music of the late great Jimi Hendrix. With such an amazing catalog of material, the trio chose nine selections from the Experience period that lend themselves well to a fresh free-wheeling jazz-rock interpretations in a purely instrumental form, building around the instantly recognizable melodies of tunes like “Voodoo Child,” “Fire,” “Purple Haze,” and many others, taking them down to basics and re-hydrating them with a new dreamy psychedelic approach, perhaps in the process abandoning some of the concise song elements in favor of a free open-ended jamming style. What the trio present here is something completely new, based on elements of the originals, as opposed to covers or rearrangements. Delville whips through numerous screaming guitar passages that were never approached in the originals, yet remain honest and respectful of them, while Bianco and Guenet follow his lead, crafting textural backdrops that push those guitar solos clean into the stratosphere. Sometimes they return to the original theme, sometimes they don’t, but it’s the long trajectory out and back where the most interesting material lies. The disc requires listener attention throughout, and it’s easy to get lost in the ether, but there’s a lot of brilliant chaos herein. Fans of Hendrix’ music will definitely find plenty here of interest.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Jimi Hendrix, Machine Mass, Michel Delville

Latest news

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cast - Legacy – For their ninth studio album, Cast present another strong set of tunes in their established mode. While there are strong contributions from all members, the keyboards of Alfonso Vidales are clearly...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues