MACHINE MASS TRIO / MACHINE MASS — As Real as Thinking (review)

MACHINE MASS TRIO / MACHINE MASS — As Real as Thinking album cover Album · 2011 · Eclectic Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
kev rowland
Originally MMT were a side-project of douBt, which contains both Tony Bianco (on drums and loops) and Michel Delville (on guitar, bouzouki and live effects – he also plays guitar in The Wrong Object), and here they have joined with Jordi Grognard who provides saxophones, bass clarinet and flute. ‘As Real as Thinking’ was recorded in just one day towards the end of 2010 in a small studio in Belgium, and the band is clear to make the statement that there are no overdubs at all. This album is all about expert musicians feeding off each other, going where the music drives them, which isn’t always as clear to the listener as it is to those who are undertaking the journey.

The closeness with which Michel and Tony interact is just astounding, and Jordi takes little or no part on “Falling Up” which is by the far the longest song on the album as the guys just go for it – providing an intensity and note density which is incredibly powerful. It is pushing through the limits of avant garde into prog and even into areas that are almost outside of music itself – just an incredible experience. It is incredibly difficult to comprehend the relationship these two musicians have with each other as they keep feeding each other with ideas and energy. In other pieces it isn’t unusual for both Michel and Jordi to be changing instruments as well as styles so that it often feels that there are way more then three guys involved, performing all of this totally live. As the label describes it so well, this was a “session of bold, risk-taking improvisation”. A final moving statement from Tony, “This record was recorded as my beloved wife, Mary, was fighting for her life. She has thus passed away and my playing is a tribute to her beautiful soul.” If you want music that is challenging the norm then this is it, but if you want simple clean repeated pop melodies then this probably isn’t for you. www.moonjune.com
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