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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Michael Giles MAD Band In The Moment

The Michael Giles Mad Band
In The Moment
Mad Band

Whilst best remembered for his game-changing drumming in King Crimson, in recent years Michael Giles has pursued his interest in improvisation. Since 2009 he’s been working with Adrian Chilvers (found sounds/horn) and guitarist Daniel Pennie under the Mad Band moniker. Recently they’ve teamed up with Caravan’s Geoffrey Richardson in concert, and now, guesting on their second album, pianist Keith Tippett.

A seasoned improv veteran (and an honorary Crim having appeared on three KC titles), Tippett displays his customary command and focus, mixing quixotic splashes of notes or brewing ominous bass-heavy patterns brimming with thunderous intent. Giles confines much of his contribution to that of colourist rather than timekeeper, accenting the luminous electronica and magical allsorts emanating from Chilvers and Pennie’s direction.

A crucial feature is the speed at which they pull off heart-stopping moods swings. Passages of industrial clattering, pastoral airs, eerie abstraction and avant-rock are vigorously pursued, one thing leading to another though often with unforeseen consequences. Such leaps into the dark are exhilarating and entertaining.

During the last quarter of the album what had been riotous knockabout unexpectedly topples into an exquisite ballad which in turn shimmers towards a haunting guitar/piano coda.

You can pre-order / buy this album here

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