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elephant9 - Walk The Nile
Following on fro their 2008 debut, this Norwegian jazz trio return for a welcome second helping on Rune Grammofon. The group is led by Supersilent synth wrangler and all-round keyboard wizard Ståle Storløkken with Shining drummer Torstein Lofthus and Big Bang bass player Nikolai Hængsle Eilertse providing virtuosic accompaniment. Elephant9 are like a relic from the early seventies, taking their inspiration from the great prog and fusion groups of the distant past and exhibiting levels of musicianship and dexterity that haven't been fashionable since... well, this much flashy soloing has probably never been fashionable. Blisteringly high tempo romps like 'Aviation' find the group on incredible form, showcasing their technical ability not just as individual performers and soloists but as a remarkably tight single unit. 'Walk The Nile' meanwhile scares up some dark, Eastern dub, laying on the grinding, distorted Hammond organ alongside a pummelling slow beat from Lofthus. It's moments like this when you'd swear you were listening to something that was recorded about forty years ago. In addition to the generally fairly outmoded prog-jazz-fusion vibes presiding over the release, the analogue recording could hardly be more warmed up and vintage sounding - saturated in all the right places. Ace.