Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Album Review: Ill Considered - Liminal Space

Ill Considered
Liminal Space
***and1/2 out of *****

Perhaps the most vibrant jazz scene these days emanates out of London, England and with their first proper studio album Ill Considered add another layer to that cities sound. Liminal Space is far from the groups first addition to the scene though as the band has self-released a whopping ten live albums since 2017. 

The band has changed a little bit on this studio release scaling down to a three piece with tenor saxophonist and bass clarinetist Idris Rahman, drummer Emre Ramazanoglu and bassist Liran Donin forming the core of the group. They are joined by a wide ranging set of guests who populate the London scene including baritone saxophonist Tamar Osborn, tenor saxophonists Kaidi Akinnibi and Ahnanse, tubaist Theon Cross, trumpeter Robin Hopcraft and percussionist Sarathy Korwar.

From the opening notes the outfit hold very little back and focus on the overloaded sound of late era Miles Davis (with slightly more structure), using the rhythm as the base to launch from on every tune. The sounds can be everything from inspiring, overwhelming and repetitive over the records hour plus run time. 

Opener "First Light" is an excellent album highlight that announces the players intention from the start using layers, building with frantic sax joining about half way through as pumping energy and a fantastic bass line underneath it all thrives. Tribal beats and a massive groove anchor "Sandstorm" as the horns squawk away while the more melodic "Loosed" delivers fine flute work to become more accessible to for the listener. 

"Dust" continues the early albums sense of layers, building drums and blaring horns but starts to become repetitive in the process while "Dervish is better" blaring out of the gate from the start. The more ominous and meditative "Pearls" releases the bands choke hold on groove for a more spacey effect while "The Lurch" displays the best horn work on the album. 

Both "Light Trails" and "Knuckles" dive into what Ill Considered do best which is ramp up the frantic sound with thundering rhythm supporting layers of horns which at times soars and at times feels stuck in soup with the same idea. Liminal Space ends with "Prayer" as the group strip back the chaos and focus on the percussion leading the way to wrap a heavy record which throws a lot of sounds at the listener throughout.    
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