Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Chaz Bundick Meets the Mattson 2 - Star Stuff, album review

Best in an Array of Instrumentation

The opening track Sonmoi is a psychedelic guitar aural wrap-around, and the echoes and loops at times remind me of elements in The Chamber Brothers’ Time Has Come Today, though the acoustic oriental additions make it different too. This is followed by more echoing faroutness in A Search, this too moving out of the electric into acoustic, and a significant move to vocal chorus and apparent horns, this latter synthesised and into a 60s/70s foreign cinema soundtrack. It is beautiful.

There is further beauty in third track JBS where a cascading vibration of beautiful guitar chords and lead sweep across the musical panorama. The first lyrical interjection and singing I think I lost my mind is also an intrusion on an otherwise self-speaking instrumental of tranquillity, not so much in its contradictory assertion but the slightness of that vocal – not a sound that fits, for me, the otherwise majesty of the playing, though later harmonies do rise up and into the swelling mix.

Indeed, the vocal as on fourth Star Stuff, a more pop-oriented song, isn’t the album’s strength, but to be fair that is a relative comparison. There is here more excellent guitar work but the singing, even echoed, is a light fixture in the instrumental firmament.

The funk and near-reggae of echoing guitar on fifth Steve Pink returns to more expansive musical paintings, a reverberating soundscape of joyous breadth. Next Disco Kid continues the funkiness, and wah-wah with other effects guitar closes out in more evidence of the album’s instrumental core and strength.

The jazz fusion with swathes of echoing vocal [and at end bird-chirps] in seventh Don’t Blame Yourself is eight minutes of joining psychedelia, a spaceship ascending straight out of Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland. Closing instrumental Cascade showcases Jonathan Mattson on drums in a fine fusion of funkiness, his twin brother Jared continuing on superb guitar and Chaz [Toro Y Moi] superb on an array of instrumentation.

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