New York Times Features Kneedelus

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Wednesday December 16, 2015


Jazz Intuition, American Roots and Double Hybrids
By: Nate Chinen

Hybridism often leads the agenda when an electronic producer aligns with a jazz ensemble — but what if both parties are already hybridized to the hilt? The Los Angeles label Brainfeeder has lately been in the business of answering that question, with albums like “Kneedelus,” a convergence of the chamber-groove ensemble Kneebody and the atmospheric beat alchemist Daedelus. Available in digital formats, it feels less like a meeting than a melding, benefiting from a long collaborative history: Ben Wendel, the saxophonist in Kneebody, knew Daedelus, a.k.a. Alfred Darlington, as a jazz bassist back in high school. So in addition to flashes of hyperkinetic fusion — on “Platforming,” featuring an uncorked solo by Mr. Wendel, and “Loops,” with strong work by the trumpeter Shane Endsley and the drummer Nate Wood — there are calmly brooding tracks with no apparent point to prove. The standout is “Home,” with a near classical melody and a meditative drift evoking Miles Davis’s “In a Silent Way.”

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