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Spin Marvel

Artist: Martin France

Date of Release: 01/07/2005

Catalogue no: Spin Marvel 010

Label: F-ire/Babel/Spin Marvel

Price: £8.99

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Track Listing

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Appearances by

Spin Marvel

Martin France drums, keyboards, electronic sequencing, John Parricelli guitars, Tim Harries bass, keyboards, Terje Evensen keyboards, drums, electronic sequencing and programming

 

Reviews

 

14/07/2005 John Fordham, The Guardian

"When you enter a room to find Martin France sitting at the drum kit, you find yourself immediately reassured. In the early 1980s when he was still a teenager, France already seemed like the kind of rising star who was equipped to channel the spirit of Elvin Jones and Tony Williams. In tandem with Django Bates, he attracted plenty of attention, and the two recorded for ECM with the prize-winning band First House.

But those who have heard France sustaining a groove in all manner of relatively orthodox jazz settings are doubtless aware that hanging with Bates and the Loose Tubes school was destined to have a subversive impact on France. In deed Spin Marvel is a far cry from conventional jazz. Live, France’s band often features both Django Bates and saxophonist Iain Ballamy, and there are times during this long exploration of electronic timbres, programmed groves, samples and improvisational drum-and-bass ideas when the presence of said pair’s witty lyricism and creative impatience would have proved welcome.

Instead, France augments his kit with loop-triggered pads, and – in harness with bassist Tim Harries – explores percussion and deep bass textures as much as he does beats. Repetitive single note bass metamorphoses into sinister heartbeat sounds, shuffling drum programs are interwoven with noises like old wooden ships creaking in storms, and long howling guitar turns into furious percussion.

Guitarist John Parricelli occasionally gets the chance to play some Bill Frisell-like melodies, and the spontaneous percussion overshadows any beatbox set-pieces, but there are precious few signs of any jazzy lines. Consequently, fans of France’s previous incarnations will need to be as open-minded as the drummer to understand where Spin Marvel is coming from."

 

01/07/2005 Drummer Magazine ****

"Given Drummer Martin France´s previous track record, his solo debut is stylistically unexpected. What we have here is a textural soundscape comparable with some of Scandinavias best. Tim Harrie´s rumbling bass introduces the opening track "Nepenthe", with France´s brushwork taking more of a back seat. He firmly takes the wheel, however, on the more menacing "Black Wing", where he admirably combines live drums, programming and sampling to create a rich, dark mood, and suberb on the Bill Frisell-esque "Copper Field". This is definitely a CD that ascends the playlist with each listen."

 

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