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Abstractions of Reality Past and Incredible Feathers, the new record from Binker Golding, is a piece of art.
‘I Forgot Santa Monica’ — my, my, this is how you open an album, the melodies and grooves on display here are infectious. The musicianship is first class too. I’ve listened to a lot of jazz, jazz fusion in my time, but this is something else. When I listen to this, I can visualise a scene somewhere in a casino with this song playing in the background. At times it feels like the track is about to descend into chaos, but it never does. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, eager to see what unfolds.
I can see ‘Exquisite She-Green’ being sampled by musicians in the future — and with good reason. There’s no shortage of great moments on this song. The sax is so smooth yet so powerful, and the piano is the perfect partner. I’m lost for words here, it’s a musical experience, an exquisite one at that. Every instrument shines and the production is fantastic. Binker Golding may have been influenced by the ’60s and ’70s, but this song is timeless, it belongs in the pantheon of great jazz songs.
‘Skinned Alive, Tasting Blood’ is a sinister title for a sinister song. The pacing here is genius, with moments of near chaos, eeriness, and beauty. I love the drumming here, unusual, choppy at times, but serving a purpose. Around the 5:15 mark is a really great piece of piano work — this song is a gem. Exceptionally creative.
The softest moment so far is ‘…And I Like Your Feathers’, it’s almost hypnotising. How can an album be so perfect? Golding is a name that deserves to be up there with the likes of Coltrane. A beautiful piece of music.
‘You, That Place, That Time’ reminds me of how it feels to be in love — at times wild, bittersweet, but often magic.
The opening minute of ‘Strange Beautiful Remembered’ is perfection. This album reminds me of why I love music and why it’s worth writing about. In my opinion, this is the standout song on Abstractions of Reality Past and Incredible Feathers. In a live setting, this track will be a sight to see. It has a dreamy quality to it.
The finale arrives in the shape of ‘Fluorescent Edges With Black’ — oh, why must it have to end? An incredibly pretty song, and one of the more upbeat songs on the album, both in tempo and mood. The sax is unfairly catchy — in fact, the whole album is this way. It has everything, music that evokes emotion and memories of youth, catchy melodies, and Binker Golding really connecting with the listener.
Abstractions of Reality Past and Incredible Feathers sets a new standard in the genre. The musicians here are world class and it shows in the music. Not one ounce of energy, not one second, not one note of music is wasted on this album. I sincerely hope this album gets recognition upon release, because it deserves it. The skill on display across the album is borderline mythical. Congratulations to Binker Golding and all the musicians involved.
You should go out of your way to pre-order, or purchase this album upon release because it’s a truly great record.
Abstractions of Reality Past and Incredible Feathers will be released on the September 27 2019 via Gearbox Records.