MATT CALVERT

Un­trapped Tiger ex­plores sonic free­dom.

Prog - - The Musical Box -

Adecade into the ca­reer of Lon­don math rock trio Three Trapped Tigers, Matt Calvert – nominally their gui­tarist, though he seems in­creas­ingly in­ter­ested in elec­tron­ica and synths – makes a solo in­stru­men­tal foray. It’s an in­trigu­ing show­case for his di­verse tal­ents as he largely es­chews gad­getry for acous­tic in­stru­ments, which then aspire to em­u­late elec­tronic sounds. Thus strings and wood­wind ar­rive in dis­guise as drones and glitches: an ap­proach which may sound cere­bral on pa­per, but sounds more en­gag­ing among the teases and twists of Typewrit­ten. As mu­si­cal di­rec­tor for Goldie’s live band, as well as a Her­itage Or­ches­tra reg­u­lar, Calvert can draw on a range of im­pulses, and the al­bum flits from the clas­si­cal flavours of Noth­ing To Envy to Mute Heart’s duel be­tween alt-jazz-funk rhythms, with gui­tars you might find on a 70s John Mar­tyn al­bum. Har­mon­ics fea­ture heav­ily, but the over­all flow never gets com­pla­cent. In fact, the fi­nale of Ghost Ship al­most comes as a wel­come respite from all the busy work, at last al­low­ing the mu­si­cian to re­lax into a breatheeasy, post-hip-hop groove of what was briefly called chill­wave or va­por­wave. It’s a cool, cool river. CR

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