FLY­ING MA­CHINES

Sec­ond al­bum by the ac­claimed Lon­don jazz fu­sion four-piece.

Prog - - The Musical Box - MB

Fly­ing Ma­chines have been cat­e­gorised as a mix of jazz, rock and prog, and they over­lap those mu­si­cal ar­eas in a way that sounds orig­i­nal and fresh. On their self-ti­tled 2016 de­but they came up with the drolly ti­tled Emo­tional Math Metal, but while mu­sic in the ‘math’ genre can be al­most neu­rot­i­cally tight, and over-com­pli­cated to an en­er­vat­ing de­gree, Fly­ing Ma­chines blend shift­ing rhyth­mic fig­ures in com­pound time sig­na­tures from bass gui­tarist Conor Chap­lin and drum­mer Dave Ham­blett, with more re­laxed, lyri­cal themes. On the open­ing ti­tle track, gui­tarist Alex Munk plays spiky riffs and fluid melodic lines that evoke Al­lan Holdsworth, while Matt Robin­son’s speedy elec­tric key­board lines give way to pi­ano, as the com­po­si­tion opens out. By con­trast, with its syn­co­pated drum rhythm, Bul­let Train is stark and sub­tle, one of the three pieces made col­lec­tively “on the fly”. Word­less vo­cals em­pha­sise the song­like qual­ity of Pre­lude To Ela­tion, and al­though …Ela­tion sounds like jazz, it doesn’t swing in the jazz sense, but in­stead Fly­ing Ma­chines’ sin­gu­lar ap­proach yields a mix of rhyth­mic sleight of hand, in­tri­cate uni­son sec­tions and in­spired im­pro­vi­sa­tion.

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