Same As You

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The gist Experimental dubby-Jazz, from London’s “post”-Jazz experimentalists, still being as forward-looking as always, 6 albums down the line The music “What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well” said Antoine de Saint-Exupery - at some point during the crafting of this album. Some time was spent in the Mojave Desert, near to which album producer Ken Barrientos has his studio, how profound an effect such a remarkable landscape might have had on its creation is idly debatable, but there’s a magic and a meandering mystery about Same As You which does for the world sound like it was inspired by something as elemental and as open and sparse as being plonked in a desert might. And not to be too hackneyed with the well analogy and all that, but this album is a wonderful thing and that time in the desert maybe did bring with it a lovely great watery bounty of clever ideas, like chucking a bucket down a clever Jazz-experimentation-well might. We should probably assume that Saint-Exupery was being of both poetic and philosophical mind when talking about deserts and wells and not literal, given that deserts are famously dry and arid – perhaps he was talking about the beauty of hope or, more profoundly for our purposes here, how in such conditions, of stark and unrelenting isolation, superficially dry of variety and imagination, the uninhibited and undistracted mind can become so focused it can achieve hitherto unseen levels of creative thinking and output… maybe not, but Same As You is an eye-opening, ear-opening listen – what marks it out is the restraint, the compelling restraint and it’s thoughtfulness – it was originally conceived of as a single long piece which, amongst other things gives a strong thematic cohesion (and makes later refrains of the mantra from the introduction make sense), there’s a sense of wonder, and of wandering, that runs through the whole thing and the dub-tinged elements bring a primal (primordial perhaps) exoticism and mysticism – a bit of otherness, which makes things really interesting – it’s strong work, and the sort of work that will gag those harsh critics who claim Jazz is now little more than a museum piece. Listen to “Of Hi Lands” – if a morosely-mooded Mogwai dropped guitars for brasses, it might sound like this lament “Unrelenting Unconditional” – an immersive extended study which channels the essence of the record through 20 minutes of wandering in a dark wilderness