Nought to 60 – The Near Jazz Experience (reviewed by Marcus Kittridge)

This four-track mini-album bristles with hypnotic electronic beats. It is overlaid with lush improvised virtuoso jazzy licks and beautiful instrumental detours. The treatment and understanding of balance is sublime. Loads of space, grooves, dynamics, tricks and tonal treats.

Side one is a full 11 minutes of pure sonic joy. Moments of Ted Milton and Miles Davis genius punctuate throughout.

Before I carry on; can I go see this band play live right now, please?

Side 2 starts with a soulful and angular version of Bowie’s Five Years which is both unexpected and reassuringly good. Swiftly followed by a track that sounds like a walk through WOMAD at night where you catch a mash-up of audible snatches of North African, Middle Eastern and Asian rhythms as you make your way across the festival site late at night. NJE are the surprise leftfield tent where you settle till the sun comes up.

The final track enters like one of those classic Can tunes that you instantly know will take you on a journey. It flows and meanders and hooks in with rough sax like those frenzied rasping metallic moments that only Gong can normally deliver.

All of this and two members of The Higsons. For me, this is what I call a real treat.

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