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Chicago post-jazz duo Colorlist are back this week with their first album since 2010’s ‘A Square White Lie’. The formula here is light analogue synth drones and woodwind breezing over gently puttering drums. It’s surprising how full-sounding their textures are considering there are only two of them, but it’s never intrusive, always sticking to a hazy spiritual jazz-meets-free folk kind of atmosphere. The melodies and rhythms are somewhat freeform but there’s always a graceful and composed feel to the delivery, like a more spiritual take on Tortoise’s more contemplative moments.
Phil’s saying it sounds a lot like ‘Laughing Stock’ by Talk Talk, Ian’s piped in that it’s a bit like Sylvian’s instrumental stuff. When they get going towards the end of side B it even reminds me a little of Mats Gustafsson’s Fire!, but never scales the skronkily difficult peaks which that lot do (although they have a good pop in ‘Through The Fires’ which some squeaky freeform sax). Fans of progressive Scandi jazz stuff like Elephant9 and Jaga Jazzist, and fellow Chicagonians like Tortoise et al, will be into this.
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