Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Megalodon Collective - Animals (JAZZLAND RECORDINGS 2017)

Perhaps Megalodon Collective's description of themselves is the most straightforward ... "sixty feet of prehistoric terror".

Yet that doesn't quite capture what this Norwegian Grammy-nominated septet unleashes upon the world. Their compositions and improvisations build with slow majesty and release a fiery rain of sonic chaos. Contrapuntal insanity creates illusions of order, while high urgency solos and lizard rhythms create illusions of disorder. They seamlessly leap from sounding like the Mingus Dynasty band trapped on a star cruiser with controls set for the heart of the sun to the pit orchestra from hell performing the soundtrack to a Keystone Cops movie directed by Quentin Tarantino.

This is traditional jazz with some non-western inflections in a bubbling broth of mercurial whimsy, tungsten-hard swing, gear-grinding factory noise, decimated funk, a stilt-walking Samba band parading through a burning free jazz session, extended musical techniques that mere mortals fear to play or hear, interstellar Dixieland cakewalking through a psychedelic reimagining of 1950s Chicago, and an exquisitely beautiful and delicate cacophony. Moments of tenderness, sweet melody and placid contemplation suddenly dissipate, and the band become a troupe of mediæval minstrels running across a bed of hot coals to joyously leap into the Nietzschean abyss.

Theirs is a whirling cabaret of lightning and brimstone, cascading diamonds and crumbling bedrock. They are incomprehensibly familiar and understandably alien; they elude description and categorization like a mythic lake monster ... So ...

Perhaps they were right to begin with: Megalodon Collective are, indeed, "sixty feet of prehistoric terror"!

01. Animals
02. Plutonia
03. Rasande Roland
04. När Blev Du Så Gammal (Och Ful)
05. Encouraging Dylan
06. Daymare
07. Moby
08. Intro
09. Finding Megalodon
10. Black Bike
11. Tree Of Redemption
12. On The Beach
13. Black Bear Creek

Based in Trondheim, Megalodon Collective are: