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