Monday 18 November 2019

'Inexpressible Infinity' by Levitation Orchestra

The Levitation Orchestra launch their debut record 'Inexpressible Infinity' through Astigmatic Records presenting their own blend sublime jazz from the heart of London.

'Inexpressible Infinity' serves as another project that firmly ingrains the wonderful Astigmatic Records as a strong base for UK jazz.  Having released the debut, self-titled project from Cykada earlier this year - which also boasts the inclusion of the Levitation Orchestra's trumpeter Axel Kaner-Lidstrom as part of its six-piece make-up - Astigmatic Records masterfully showcase these stunning UK releases alongside equally stunning projects from the revered Polish collective EABS (who also released their sophomore album 'Slavic Spirits' a few months ago).  Astigmatic Records have clearly had an incredible year!

But while Cykada's project presented their sound as something of a myriad of styles and genres over eclectic sonic soundscapes, the Levitation Orchestra appear to seek their inspirations from the spiritual jazz offerings of icons like Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders and Sun Ra underpinning their compositions with exquisite orchestral arrangements which are only enhanced by the sublime vocals of Sophie Plummer and Zakia Sewell. 

Formed by Kaner-Lidstrom, this thirteen-piece ensemble compose their music through an all-inclusive and - as they themselves describe - "ritualistic" method to music-making by ensuring everyone has the freedom and confidence to contribute, thus neglecting the inclusion of any one person's name as producer or composer.  Whatever they're doing though is absolutely working.  With such incredible talent involved from a variety of backgrounds and other bands (including Nihilism and Sawa Manga), it's unsurprising that the results have been the lush recordings presented over the course of these six tracks.

While 'Odyssey' and 'Mystical Yang' display Levitation Orchestra's strengths as a vibrant and dynamic collective, 'Twin Serpents' and 'Clairevoyance' capture the Orchestra at their enchanting best.  The notion of the music here being born of a "collective ritual of creativity" presents the album in an exciting context - 'Inexpressible Infinity' is an inspirational record showcasing the respect that the band members have for each other when it comes to music-making and respect for the genre's aforementioned architects that came before them. 

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