Half Notes: Machine Mass Trio – As Real As Thinking (2011)

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Machine Mass Trio has constructed a mesmerizing, moving carpet of boisterous sax, knifing guitars and boiling rhythms on the electronics-laden As Real As Thinking. There is always, always something happening here, as MMT skitters with determined focus between the melodic, the moody and (to great effect) the outside. Much of the album feels organic, as if the songs were developed as they were played — and the worry there, at least initially, was that the group would be pushed dangerously close to Stockhausen’s brand of turbulent process-based music making. But Machine Mass Trio (Belgians Michel Delvelle and Jordi Grognard on guitar and sax, respectively; and a New York City-born Tony Bianco on drums) always find a swinging resonance to lead the way out, playing constantly but somehow with great separation, even as they bolster the music’s natural ebbs and flows with additional electronic texturing. Put together, it gives As Real As Thinking, issued this week on Moonjune Records, an attention-grabbing, trance-like power.

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‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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