Szun Waves – New Hymn To Freedom


I’m back you audiophiliac motherfuckers. Had a tornado to deal with.

So, I don’t know if you’ve ever been in the kind of situation where nature looks over this scrabble game we’ve built for ourselves and decides to flip the board over, but it’s disconnecting as all fuck. Every cellphone, television, and radio (these devices that so regularly disconnect us from the rest of the world) lets out a blaring alarm to collectively warn us to get the fuck indoors. Power outages occur at different intervals. Random debris generally kindly tucked into the corners of alleyways and gutters are swirling, swarming, and floating in the air as if controlled by some powerful telepath. You recognize each street, coffee shop, gas station, and corner store you pass. You’ve driven past them hundreds of times. They have become landmarks that remind you that you’re almost home. But, now, instead of blending into the landscape as they usually do, they look fragile, frail, and foreign to the brooding nature threatening to rip them apart. And there’s nothing you can do to stop it all from happening. All you can do is pick up the pieces afterwards. While driving through these sights there was music playing in the car (as there often is). After skipping through a few songs, this album came on. I let the album play through. It was fucking perfect. 

Keyboardist Luke Abbott (James Holden), saxophonist Jack Wylie (Portico Quartet, Circle Traps), and drummer Lawrence Pike (PVT and Triosk) make up the band Szun Waves. This album sits nicely between electronic and jazz and is completely improvised. Made on the fucking spot. For many trios this is a giant excuse to shit the bed. But for Szun Waves, this setup allows them to have a free feeling to their music. These tunes fluidly weave between feelings of optimism, humour, dread, and darkness. It’s this exact set up that made this album work so well as I watched well-known streets change so suddenly. There’s just something about the dark and ominous that lends itself so well to the world of jazz. Nothing else has that brooding and cynical smile in the face of overwhelming odds. It’s the type of shit to put on as you sip on your favourite whiskey, take a long drag of the first cigarette you’ve had in years, and exhale cheap smelling smoke out into a horrendous wind as you give the world the bird. It’s fucking perfect.


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