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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

The Remote Viewers - November Sky [Self Release - 2015]

November Sky is the 13th album from London dark-noir to avant-tinged jazz collective The Remote Viewers. The album appeared back in 2015, as a ten-track CD release- and it really finds the band at their more atmospheric & cinematic, yet with enough creative avant twists & turns present to keep you on your toes.

I’m relatively late to The Remote Viewers fairly distinctive take on Jazz- only getting into them at the tail end of last year with their excellent angular-yet- moody Last Man In Europe album. So since I’ve been making my way back through their discography, and November Sky rather stood out to me- due to its rounded balance between dramatic & atmospheric prowess, and subtly experimental edges.

The album opens with the nearing seven & Half minutes of "Easy Money"- this pits forlorn yet urgent horns against creepily haunted house piano work, and peppers the whole thing with darting-yet dark almost ritual percussive detail. As we move through the album we come to the just under three minutes of the title track- and this finds creepy & dramatic interactions between tight bass turns & descend piano notes- with licks of darkly simmering synth string work- all topped off with moodily smoky horn work, that from time-to-time darts off track.

The second half the albums started off with the just shy of nine minutes of "Crowd Figure"- this starts off with a tight matt of almost dense Gamelan type percussion, before moving into a very jarring & unsettling mix of horn honks, vibe key hits, backwards & forward percussive crashers, with later uneasy bass wonderings adding into really unhinged things.  Later on, we get simmer-yet- whistling darkly Noir Jazz of "The Room Above The Square"- which sees taut & nervy piano runs, blended with sinister synth strings, and semi angular bass & horn work.

If you're looking for darkly tinged & atmospheric Jazz, with some angularly & Avant- grade touches I can highly recommend November Sky. And you can purchase this and The Remote Viewers other albums from their website here…this really is a project that deserves more attention, as they really are creating a distinct take on the jazz form.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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