Tuesday 14 June 2022

'Light in Chaos' by 7th SENSE

'Light in Chaos' is the debut, full-length outing from the Romanian collective, 7th SENSE.

Preceded by two singles earlier this year in the brilliant 'Almost Five' and 'Wild Birds', Bucharest's 7th SENSE provided delectable glimpses into their fresh-faced and inspired interpretation of jazz in the run-up to 'Light in Chaos'.  Through band leader and bassist, Laura Benedek, the 7th SENSE collective are now able to present nine exquisite selections showcasing their expansive styles and disciplines across the ever-broadening scope of contemporary jazz.  While noted for their improvisational compositions, 7th SENSE also share a strong penchant for the infectious groove-based, neo-soul stylings that adorn the music throughout this incredible album.

The concept of 'Light in Chaos' is certainly an evocative title for an album - as a global society, the last few years have seen the world struggle with ever-changing socio and political climates, continued threat of international conflict, increased costs of living and the ongoing struggle attributed to a worldwide pandemic.  These have been incredibly difficult times where it has felt that even tiny glimmers of hope have been scarce.  Despite these natural assumptions, much of the music throughout is performed with an elegance and charm that perhaps alludes to sensitivities of a more personal nature as opposed to issues on such a grand scale.  

Comprised of band members Sergiu Bivol (trumpet), Lucas Contreras (guitar), Adi Stoenescu (Fender Rhodes), Gabi Matei (drums) and Benedek on bass, 7th SENSE deliver a sensational statement of intent with this album.  From the warm and vibrant Will Fry-assisted opener, 'Two Moons', which is instantly followed by the exquisite string-laden 'Pain', there is an undeniable chemistry within 7th SENSE band members that generates a real magic when they play together.  

With compositions inspired by a mix of jam sessions and treated as a collaborative experience between the band members, there is a free-flowing, almost effortless energy that carries across the album's tracks which is an openness that warmly extends towards the project's numerous guest contributors who each bring further thrilling dimensions to the album's aesthetic.  Benedek's minimalist pairing with vocalist Luiza Zan for the track 'Fretless' makes for both a sublime and mildly ethereal experience: "I take the blame for going astray, it was expected in a way, to search myself and come what may".

It's these touching moments of sincerity that make 'Light in Chaos' such a spectacular project - it's fun, affectionate, honest and blissfully creative and an album that, if you let it, will make you smile, think and maybe even be sad at times but these are those rare gifts that music can give us.  

It was once said that "Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality."  This album represents more than a solitary light amongst the chaos, it represents more than simply hope... it is hope realised.

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