A year after their debut release Empty Spaces , trumpeter Rory Simmons twisted ensemble Fringe Magnetic, return with their marvelous second album Twistic. Building on the success of their debut, the band demonstrates an even stronger concept of the ensemble sound, forging a unique and powerful group identity that sets it apart from the other bands on the contemporary scene. Darkly compelling Fringe Magnetic lurch between twisted fanfare and bizarre shanties, to flitting winds and knotty rhythmic puzzles. Their sound draws on improv, new music and contemporary classical music with obvious nods to the influence of Django Bates and the NY down-town scene in the process, but the results are all their own. Featuring the mesmerizing vocals of Norwegian vocalist Elisabeth Nygaard Fringe Magnetic create icy Nordic ambience which can at once transform into the quirky elastic rhythmic grooves; and the grunting power of a Tom Waits groan, before embarking on a bizarre melodic journey which is as near Ligeti as it is Lykke Li, while Simmons own playing on trumpet and flugel-horn moves between skewed blues infected trumpet solos that twist unpredictably and beautiful melodic fragments. The title track Twistic slips and wriggles through knotted rhythmic phrases with slippery percussive textures and Simmons flowing intervallic trumpet solo adds a touch of down-town to proceedings. 10th Witness evokes the sound of Dave Douglas s earlier projects with its through -composed contorted melodic fragments, interspersed with Ben Reynolds percussive ideas. Vocalist Andrew Plummer appears on Fire In The Galley, a stomping, clattering shanty with squealing strings and howling winds making themselves heard over the raucous groove. Near Morningside bristles from the outset with its flitting folkish melody. Apochryful is produced by Norwegian drummer and laptopist Terje Evensen. The shimmering glassy textures present throughout this tune add a cinematic texture to the chamber nature of the writing. Elsewhere Wait Drags On features Elisabeth Nygaard, with a ticking rhythm section propelling the melody and narrative of this song. Nygaard soars over the gentle but propulsive groove before an agile flugelhorn solo from Simmons exploring every avenue of the groove. Finally the album closes with the remarkable Play It Once More a surprising duet featuring Jamie Cullum and Elisabeth Nygaard. Propelled into unusual pastures Cullum is in excellent form as his and Nygaard vocals soar over the gentle motion of the piano and clarinet theme until their voices unite as the groove snaps into place with double bass appearing for the first time on the album, propelling the tune forward.
Fringe Magnetic - Twistic