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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews



Experimental jazz collective 3ofmillions are an improv band. There is no writing and no slaving away on a single piece of music until it's perfect. Their songs exist in a single moment, with the trio injecting their own individual direction into each piece. This no-rules artistic freedom creates a strange balance of power throughout their compositions, with each member focusing on their own style yet at the same time attempting to work as part of a cohesive unit.

Immediate, the group's debut full length release, starts up with a fragile and somewhat subtle track entitled Her Subtlety In My Subconscious. As is the case with the opening third of the record, the piano work of Adrian Klumpes (formerly of Triosk) dominates, playfully dancing over the foundation of sounds which vary from freeform drum patterns to minimal electronic additions.

The unexpectedly noisy nature of The Hand Of God - complete with chaotic backwards samples and furious keyboard smashing - interrupts the 'background music at a dinner party' feel of the record's start, kicking the LP into life with fight scene-like urgency. This song also highlights the most interesting aspect of the group's approach to music, with all three musicians heading down three very seperate paths yet somehow meeting at a fixed point towards the end to bring a small piece of cohesiveness to the musical arrangement. This is the real heart and soul of 3ofmillions' style, with the listener becoming completely engaged in the journey the band are traveling.

The Hand Of God kicks off the much more direct yet unhinged second half of the LP. The record highlight, Conscription, led by a head-pounding rhythm finds the trio smashing their way through several hypnotic movements before rising up to a brilliant climatic implosion. There is so much going on throughout this track that it's impossible to not hit replay upon it's completion

The triumphant finale, the 21-minute Accepting What Is, showcases some of Klumpes' finest piano work on the record, with the mammoth composition moving through several moods. More than anything on the other eight songs (most likely because of it's longer duration) this track highlights the group's fantastic ability to create genuine emotion without using any words - surely the true goal for any instrumental group.

While some will find the wandering nature of 3ofmillions' style a little off putting, those that enjoy music with a genuine sense of creative discovery will happily find themselves completely lost within the confines of this record.

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