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Monday, June 11, 2012

Sha's Feckel Greatest Hits

Sha’s Feckel
Greatest Hits
Ronin Rhythm Records

As members of Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin, sax player Sha and drummer Kaspar Rast contribute impeccably taut and sparse lines to that group’s patented brand of ‘zen funk’. Released from those necessary constraints however, the pair are able to stretch out and are found here on fiery and thrillingly explosive form.

Joined by guitarist Urs Müller and bassist Lionel Gafner, this live recording combines elements of jazz and rock but is emphatically not prone to any sleek noodling whatsoever. Beginning with a cloud of glowering feedback, their energetic reinterpretations of Oceansize’s Build Us A Rocket Then...and Mass Bereavement exert a steely authority on frantic interlocking sections coupled with precision-guided punches.

The remaining Sha-composed tracks are no less invigorating, slipping gamely from sultry slow-build shuffles, riotous VdGG-like rifferama-dramas, impressionistic daubs and crunching, full-frontal chordal attacks. Guitar and sax frequently spiral up in gravity-defying unison, possessing a shiver-inducing ferocity whilst adhering to an intense melodicism.

Driven along by an inventive rhythm section whose crisp, intelligent delivery constantly pushes and stokes the band, this is a sturdy and muscular EP-sized debut. Though it’s short in length, the content is rich with plenty of future promise.

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