Thursday 1 December 2022

'Automated Improvisation' by Move 78

'Automated Improvisation' is the debut full-length album release from the dynamic collective Move 78 available through the UK's Village Live recording home.

Through the release of the group's initial EP last year, 'The Algorithm Smiles Upon You', the Berlin-based quartet unveiled their diverse and eclectic musical blueprint that fused contemporary and imaginative jazz concepts alongside a hip-hop-inspired aesthetic.  The result was something wholly unique and distinct and a release that encapsulated the boundless creativity that Village Live have become renowned for waving the flag for.

'Automated Improvisation' seeks to build upon its predecessor's groundwork and expand the project's scope even further.  With the introduction of a range of featured artists and musicians - many of which representing the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra - the music is genuinely bursting with fascinating ideas and imagination that do justice to the many inspirations the project has been built upon.  

Following music created by hip-hop producer Aver for his own solo projects at the time, musicians Doron Segal (synths), Nir Sabag (drums) and Hal Strewe (bass) were recruited to build upon the sample-based concepts that formed the backbone of the music and introduce their own brand of improvisation and lush instrumentation.  Listening to anything that the foursome have since created - be it this full-length or last year's EP - it's certainly easy to deduce the magic that the collaboration subsequently spawned, thankfully, leading to a definitive union with 'Move 78'.

The album's opening number, 'The Lonely Tears of Lee Seedol', is a captivating statement of intent from the group - from the commanding drums and sublime instrumentation set against these dreamy and sweeping soundscapes, everything connects like a revitalised 1990's trip-hop experiment revisited through a 21st century lens.  'But What If We're Wrong' is the perfect follow-up - propelled through some choice vocal samples, the track finds its home within this laid-back groove that in truth showcases a litany of intricate complexities rooted within its chilled approach.  'Teilo', as an album closer, is a phenomenal track also warranting mention - clocking in at nearly ten minutes, the track is the album's magnum opus showcasing the brilliance of Move 78 as a collective and a concept.

So much of 'Automated Improvisation' is rooted within the delicious dichotomy of its inspirations - be it the division or contrast musically that brings together its hip-hop and jazz ideals as a single entity, or the dichotomy of the analog vs digital realms with compositions that both celebrate and thrive on the indelible input of each.  Move 78 seem to relish within that middle ground that bring all of these disparate concepts together making this a phenomenal record.

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