Hey welcome to 2017! For this review we have the latest release by the smartest band in the room, Sonic Moon. Released in December 2016, Their debut ep “This Space” follows on from their self titled demo release earlier last year and showcases a collection songs in the realm of fusion/funk/whatever that are all intricately crafted and perfectly executed from top to tail.
The performances across the board are just ridiculous, the drums are insane, the bass locks into its thing, the guitar has that whole space conscious tastefulness to it that do, in doing all o’ dat the band manages to manipulate the fundamentals of funk and jazz in the same (quite frankly) mindblowing way bands like The Mars Volta had the ability to do and like Hiatus Kayote have the ability to do now. Throughout the release you’ll hear perfectly altered rhythms, huge dynamic s, amazing melodic/harmonic intersection performed with such prowess, it becomes obvious that the group has everything from the western jazz world in their bag of tricks, and they do so in a smart, conscious way without ever being grandiose.
So it’s not something I pay attention to nowadays, but lets sayyy.. five to eight years ago? I was very hard into the whole jazz fusion/prog thing. A huge huge part of my appreciation for music beyond the aesthetic or “feel” of it came from listening to that magic era of 70s fusion and the selection of bands who do it justice now. However, if you’re still into the world of great musicianship and strong songwriting skills in a western sense, this is your band hey. The sheer ability to manipulate rhythm and dynamics alone stacks up to some of the best stuff out of this genre.
It’s really great to see a band in Australia that dwell in their ability to do these things well without being a part of a more monotonous and less expressive part of the jazz/funk/whatever that quite frankly has always been to the detriment of the genre. By which I mean, rather than existing solely for the entertainment of hedge fund managers in expensive bars or as a stepping stone towards a Bachelor of music, there are bands so tethered to their love of this sound and genre who still operate in a much more DIY ethic driven way (something sonic moon convinced me of their ability to do checking out the punk az hand made album cover). There are other examples of this like the handful of bands on labels like bird’s robe or art as catharsis who are clearly a great part of the Australian alternative scene and a good reminder that you can still exist in the DIY scene aesthetically without throwing the need to make well-crafted music.
All in all this release is really solid and should have something on offer for FVLSE plebs and cavedweller music nerds.
Groove on it chumps