Hippie Diktat – Black Peplum (2014)

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The Paris-based jazzcore trio Hippie Diktat thrives on the unexpected simpatico between the loud, over-amped guitar of Richard Comte and the baritone sax out of Antoine Viard. Throw in some forceful, cagey syncopations from Julien Chamla, and you have music where metal and avant-jazz meet perfectly in the middle.

No bass? Who needs it, between Viard and Comte there’s plenty of bottom end. And while there’s plenty of improv, the three work together closely, fully understanding that too much freelancing dilutes the impact of this sheer power deployed with uncommon intelligence.

Late last month they put forth a follow-up to their 2012 debut. Black Peplum (from COAX Records) depicts a band, now in only its third year of existence, very comfortable with each other.

In spite of the guttural, impetuous mindset, these songs have structure and, yes, subtleties. “Black Peplum” begins with but arc up nicely to a controlled frenzy; Viard lets the hellhounds lose by the end of the song. “E Peacock” has mathematical rhythm that Comte drowns out with furious strumming. “Deaf Can Dance” uses drawn-out drones from Viard to build upon Chamla’s circular tribal beat . The track that best represents what they sound like live (based on videos) is the final one, “Angoisee,” a doom-metal-jazz extravaganza.

Using the big sax to dispense thrash jazz with the requisite electric guitar and drums is always a winning formula. Hippie Diktat’s Black Peplum perfects that formula.

Visit Hippie Diktat’s website for more info.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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