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Saturday, January 11, 2014

HeadJive - Bad Habits (Brakophonic Records, 2013) ****

Last year I stumbled upon the group Glas from Sweden. It was a pleasant surprise -- their live album, Live at Brötz Gothenburg Sweden is a dynamic set of improvised music. 

From that sextet, two of the members seem to have spun off a smaller trio called "HeadJive". Comprised Gunnar Backman on fretted virtual guitar, Anders Berg on bass, and newcomer Andreas Wartel on drums, the group "Head Jive" recently released Bad Habits, an album of intense improvised fusion.

Kicking off the album is the track 'Modern Hints', and most striking is the use of the virtual guitar. Unlike other musicians who have adopted the synth/guitar, Backman does not opt for a smooth sound and retains a welcome edginess. Wartel's drumming is quite fierce throughout, filling out the spaces and connecting the spaces between the electric bass and the expansive guitar playing. Tracks like 'A Slight Case Of Communication' build up a big sound, where fleet fingering on the guitar is combined with an unusual and effective bass lines, while "Bad Habits" is dense and noisy.

Check it out:

Plus, it's a free download from Bandcamp!