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elephant9 -Dodovoodoo LP Review (8.9/10),
This review is from: Dodovoodoo (Audio CD)
The early Seventies was one of the most exciting times for music. Building on the psychedelic foundations of the late Sixties and the ever exciting Jazz sound, a new breed of bands came about which held the values of instrumental ability above image. Fusing the grooving, head-nodding world of rock with the complex and turbulent world of jazz led to some of the most inspired and thought-provoking music of the last century yet here we are in 2008 with a release that harks back to the early Seventies heyday. Already a firm favourite on the Norwegian scene, the trio of Ståle Storløkken (Supersilent, Humcrush), Nikolai Eilertsen (The National Bank) and Torstein Lofthus (Shining), finally deliver their long-awaited debut album, `Dodovoodoo'.
Riding upon a heady wave of `best-of-breed' Seventies jazz-rock fusion, elephant9 inject a buoyant energy into a complex and technically proficient sound that is laced with delicious melodics. The title track Dodovoodoo totally captures the style and sound of this album. Launching straight into a heady brew of jarring Rhodes melodies and stormy drums, elephant9 rocket straight off into a Seventies cosmic-dream, but one that is riddled with turbulence. The swirling-psyche sound of Seventies luminaries and space-jazz explorers such as Herbie Hancock, Sun-Ra, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Billy Cobham are fully embraced. In fact, a listen to this recording without any artist information will more than likely have your mind scouring through a library of early Seventies artists rather than 2008 Norway! `I Cover the Mountain Top' demonstrates the three-piece's ability to counter subtle atmospherics with rocking psyche. It produces a sound that regales in the melancholy majesty of Third era `Soft Machine' thanks to its winding, ultra-mellow Fender Rhodes, but morphs into ecstatic Weather Report heavy-fusion that grinds with a mind-spinning electric-rock groove.
The middle section of the album takes a break from the dizzying fusion sound and moves into ethereal territory as `Hymne' charts the nomadic expeditions of hammond organ melodies across baron audio-rustlings and percussive sparks. It's not long before that liquid groove and angular jazz melody return to lift you into the cosmos. `Doctor Honoris Causa' features brooding, deep-bass that rolls perpetually whilst complemented by three dimensional Rhodes and tinglingly sharp percussion to create a stunning effect. Gear slips into delicate free-jazz territory form an all-encompassing atmosphere that drags you in deeper and deeper- the soundscape never relenting and refusing to release you from its subtle, yet commanding clutch. The closer `Directions' is a glitchy and gloomy, yet multi-colored, jazzscape complete with warm melodic arcs that ooze over the bristly landscape like honey over a roaming thorn bush. A fittingly dynamic and complex conclusion to an album that has delivered so much.
If you're a fan of the Seventies jazz-rock fusion era and wish to be lifted away far far away from recession-prone, credit-crunched world outside then you can do no better than `Dodovoodoo'. (KS)
For fans of:Heavy fusion-era Soft Machine, Electronic-era Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra