Off-kilter, electronic, psychedelic Jazz excursions via Rabih Beainis Morphine Records! –

Rabih Beaini’s Upperground Orchestra (Beaini, Alvise Seggi, Tommaso Cappellato. Piero Bittolo Bon) back with their first studio material since 2008 – and well worth the wait!

Upperground Orchestra is the hybrid Jazz band of Rabih Beaini and his fellow musicians Tommaso Cappellato (drums), Piero Bittolo Bon (woodwinds/electronics) and Alvise Seggi (Bass / Oud). The band returns with a new LP, years after “The Eupen Tapes”. Euganea is a 5 track LP recorded during the Musica Veneta residency, in the great context of Villa dei Vescovi. Working around Veneto music, the band developed pieces that merge deep roots of original fusion (tape music, electronics and synths, processing) with the free spiritual jazz sound of Upperground Orchestra.

There’s a constantly breathing, pulsating vibe around these tracks – be it the storming sound of the cymbal, washing over skittering rhythms, frantic basslines and free flowing saxophone on the opening track, or the brooding atmospherics of ‘Barene’ with the playing of the Oud bringing in a middle eastern feel over a hacked up, steppier jazz rhythm and the darker, doomier atmospherics of the guitar, and subtle electronics – it’s a one of the heaviest, moodiest psychedelic ‘jazz’ records we’ve heard for a while.
I mean, just listen to the thunderous, overdriven electric guitar looming in between rhythm and melody on that final track… Woah – this LP is worth your £’s for this track already – but perhaps it’s the journey there which really makes it work?! From start to end, this record feels like a trip into imagined, mysterious territories… It feels like it’s walking you through overgrown jungles, through mountainous tunnels and into subterranean caves – with a few time-warps through dimly lit city scenes in between.

Highly immersive stuff, a really captivating listen – unsettling and reassuringly energising at once – a great blend of electronics vs instruments, heavy atmospherics vs the pace and organic style of free jazz. it’s a very powerful album.

Served in printed sleeve w/ artwork by George Sowden, design by M-L-XL.
Mastered by Neel at Enisslab, produced mixed and arranged by Rabih Beaini.


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