Exposé Online banner

Pymlico — Meeting Point
(Apollon Records ARP003, 2016, CD / LP / DL)

Pymlico — Nightscape
(Apollon Records , 2018, CD / LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-10-02

Meeting Point Cover artNightscape Cover art

This Oslo band plays instrumental music inspired by various forms of classic music, especially 70s soundtrack music, funk, and early jazz fusion. Somehow, they also end up having some features in common with modern post-rock bands as well, with a sense of dynamics that is quite effective. The six-piece group features Øyvind Brøte (keyboards), Stephan Hvinden (guitar), Andreas Sjo Engen (guitar), Axel Toreg Reite (bass), and Marie Færevaag (saxophones, keyboards, percussion) along with composer Arild Brøter (drums). I first encountered the group with their 2016 album Meeting Point, which features eight tracks ranging from grooving electronic jazz to borderline sappy fuzak. The opening track, “Crab Key,” might be my favorite of the set, with a soaring melody on guitar and keyboard over a driving rhythmic base with a great riff on a second guitar. “Second Rate Punk” is another great tune, one that aims more towards funk and nails it, bringing in a guest horn section to augment the band. And “Erised” ventures into a kind of borderline space rock sound with fun sequencers and a tight groove. It’s on the less energetic tunes that my interest wanes. The sound veers uncomfortably close to the kind of anonymous prettiness you hear in hotel lobbies and elevators. But luckily those tracks are in the minority, and I’d call the album a success on the whole.

Now in 2018 they’re back with Nightscape, and the overall sound is quite similar. There’s a mix of great uptempo tunes like “Wide Awake” and “Gabagool” along with some sleepers like “Room with a View” that don’t do much for me. I can understand the nostalgia for slick 70s Euro-jazz, I suppose, but I’m not into it, and I find myself thinking of Kenny G, which is uncomfortable. Still, a tune like “Ghost Notes” does a lot to drive those thoughts out of my head. It’s the longest track on the album, and has a number of sections, one of which is super funky, with great interplay between the bass and rhythm guitar. It does have middle section that threatens to conjure up the dreaded G-Man, but it’s short enough to be over before much damage is done. Nightscape is recommended for fans of instrumental jazz-rock, though like me you may end up skipping a couple tracks. Either of these albums is a reasonable place to start, and worth checking out.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Pymlico

Latest news

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Brand X - The X-Files: A 20 Year Retrospective – The first four Brand X albums set a standard for fusion that still exists more than 20 years later. Unfortunately many of the albums that followed didn’t measure up to the band’s...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues