Saturday, October 29, 2011

Takadimi – New Common Sense(2011)

The debut album from Sydney-based instrumental quintet Takadimi, New Common Sense, mingles a broad profusion of folk, jazz, Latin and African influences in a wildly vibrant blend that is all their own. Although made in the spirit of the mainstays of seminal European label ECM Music, including Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, or Tomasz Stanko, the record also reflects the group’s love of the New Acoustic bluegrass of Béla Fleck, the contemporary jazz of James Muller and John Butler’s pounding tribal rhythms. However, New Common Sense exceeds the sum of its various sources of inspiration, the band working from a solid understanding of traditional styles to forge their own innovative approach to music-making.
Written collaboratively, the songs on New Common Sense are grounded in composed structures that give each member of the group the opportunity to lose themselves in mesmerising moments of improvised spontaneity. On tracks such as ‘Into The Night’ the group play with the tala rhythms of Indian classical music (the system from which they take their name), while delving into more recognisable folk or jazz forms in ‘Gone Swimmin’’ or ‘Therese’. Meanwhile, the spiralling rhythmic complexity that develops from a single arpeggiated chord on ‘Leaves To Fall’ reflects a preoccupation with the pains of spiritual growth and the freedom that comes with ‘getting in the zone’.
New Common Sense was recorded by Dax Liniere of Puzzle Factory Sound Studio (sleepmakeswaves, John Moran Corporation) at a weekend-retreat-cum-recording-studio in bush near Wingello in the Southern Highlands, a stone’s throw from Sydney. Working at a breakneck pace over three jam-packed days – “it was a real test of focus,” Kieran (guitar) drily remarks – the band sought to capture the dynamic immediacy that fuels their live performances, the finished recordings largely consisting of live takes.
With a Scandinavian tour in their sights following their official album launch at Sydney’s 505 in August, Takadimi are keen to enter the next phase of their musical journey. New Common Sense is a tribute to the skill, friendship and quiet optimism of a talented group of young musicians that reflects, as Brianne (violin) puts it, “the fact that life is actually pretty cool after all”.
Takadimi are:
Curtis Argent (bass guitar/double bass)
Jeffrey Argent (percussion/drums)
Brianne Curran (violin)
James McKendry (guitars)
Kieran Ryan-Colton (guitars)
..written by Oliver Downes..