Sunday, July 4, 2010

Martin France: Spin Marvel

Spin Marvel (group; formed 2007)
The Reluctantly Politicised Mr. James (Edition Records)

Martin France (drums, electronics)
Tim Harries (bass)
Nils Petter Molvaer (trumpet)
John Parricelli (guitar)
Terje Evensen (percussion)

Edition Records out of England, is quickly becoming a label where you will most likely purchase any record they release. Like other highly creative and passionate labels, Clean Feed, Rune Grammofon and Fresh Sound/New Talent, Edition Records are signing and releasing some truly challenging albums of late. My most recent encounter is Spin Marvel, a collective overseen by the versatile drummer, Martin France. France has worked in multiple forums, experimental, big band and small groups. He can be heard on albums by Kenny Wheeler (trumpet), John Taylor (piano), Bugge Wesseltoft (piano), Sidsel Endresen (voice) and a list could go on.

The Reluctantly Politicised Mr. James is Spin Marvel's second album, first for Edition Records. There may be similarities to the Norwegian jazz scene which are unavoidable considering the lineup but Spin Marvel have produced an album layered in eclectic grooves and infused by really sense of exploration. The Reluctantly Politicised Mr. James is a real tour de force that isn't a wash in experimental noise that some of other European outfits use as their platform. That lineup includes the always hypnotic and hauntingly beautiful work of Nils Petter Molaver on trumpet and the outstanding ethereal guitar soundscapes of John Parricelli.

The albums opener, the title track, signals the free flowing adventure of ...Mr. James takes. On "Two Metalled Tendrils/Ten Stairs Stretching," Molvaer, Parricelli and France dominate but you can feel this a complete band thinking as one. At times this reminds me of Last Exit or Praxis in which the group moves from chaotic dissonance to ambient beauty. "Dust In Eyebeam" is another chilling piece of sound sculpture that highlights Spin Marvels journey of experimentation, simpatico and vision of space with limitless possibilities.

Spin Marvel may not be for everyone but The Reluctantly Politicised Mr. James is an experiment that delivers the right outcome with every listen.

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