Hang About, About Group.

Hang About, About Group.

You may well, and rather conceivably play on through this one multiple times before twigging what track it actually is that Alexis Taylor and his About Group gaggle go ad libbing this time around, for this extempore take on Dionne Warwick’s Walk On By eschews the Bacharachian minor key melancholy in favour of a wilfully erratic improvisation. I never quite got why About Group were never afforded a greater cultural prominence than that which they were afforded a couple years ago around the release of their decidedly good Start And Complete LP, not least as their line up – about the only element of the band to have remained in any way rigid since – comprises members of Spiritualized and This Heat, along with longstanding Derek Bailey collaborator Pat Thomas. The band’s overtly expressive rhythmist Charles Hayward is to love and leave the troupe following on from the release of forthcoming third Between The Walls, though for now all’s as was and indeed Walk On By – which is lifted from said record – serves as a lucid continuation of all to have come before it. It’s a testament not only to the band’s musical dexterity, but so too to their fierce understanding of one another that the blustery redux below in fact sounds tighter, and indeed stricter than the majority of musical stuffs scrupulously honed over months by most currently active bands, madcap Zappa volleys clattering against warbling Hammond organs and experimental jazz à la that esteemed of the Sun Ra Arkestra. Jazz is the genre which of course entwines the somewhat disparate styles of the piece, its latter minutes redolent as much of Dave Brubeck as they are of Elton-esque honky-tonk with volatile arpeggios meandering punch-drunk into an already intoxicating fray. Beguiling all over again, it’s about time Taylor’s purportedly subsidiary group sauntered unassumingly to the fore…

Between The Walls is anticipated July 1st.

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