Monday 10 November 2014

'Whole Other*' by Richard Spaven [album review]

Marking an incredible year for drummer Richard Spaven, which we’ll address shortly, the icing on its cake must surely be the release of his own full-length album, ‘Whole Other*’ available in the UK through Fine Line Records.

Following on from the 2010 well-received EP release of ‘Spaven’s 5ive’, Richard Spaven’s ability to straddle that incredibly fine line between contemporary jazz and drum-n-bass makes for a distinctly unique listening experience, both, from his EP and the brand new album release.  Beyond this though, this year also serves to show just how diverse his musicianship really is – being the featured drummer for long-term collaborator Jose James’s eclectic album ‘While You Were Sleeping’, and again featuring on all tracks for Seravince’s nu-jazz/funk album, ‘Hear To See’ – another album we’ve recently got hold of that’s occupying our speakers fairly prominently.  

Even with all the aforementioned projects – plus a resume that consists of work with Flying Lotus and The Cinematic Orchestra – Spaven genuinely has created a lane all of his own.  I mentioned previously this no man’s land where electronica and jazz music occupy the same space but it takes an artist of incredible vision and skill to make it actually work and make it a decent piece of music happily adopted by either genre.  But much like ‘Spaven’s 5ive’, ‘Whole Other*’ nails it.  Trumpeter Takuya Kuroda appears on the album opener as do The Hics on the title track and Cinematic Orchestra guitarist, Stuart McCallum, rekindles their musical chemistry as well. 

Well worth your time and you're definitely encouraged to get your hands on 'Spaven's 5ive' as well.

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