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b + bp / pis sity

Reminiscent of latter stage Dirty Beaches and the simmering jams of Bohren & der Club of Gore, Manchester’s Jr Ambassador here craft two slices of caustic, groaning ambience that radiate confidence and ambition. Tracks ‘b + bp’ and ‘pis sity’ make up a brooding and glacial take on elements drawn from free-form jazz, avant-garde excursions and tangential musique concrete. Despite their prominent virtues, they perhaps suffer from an occasional scattershot approach.

A tribal rhythm and reverberating, pulsating horns characterise ‘b + bp’, setting the oblique tone with dense textures and an acidic pitch. But it’s on ‘pis sity’ that the duo reveal a truly engrossing dimension of their music, allowing their trance-inducing drone to unfold and evolve through a series of atmospheres, a stoned drawl that seduces as much as it repels.

Its flaws are few but noticeable. The unnecessary drum section at the finale of side two somewhat cheapens the preceding brilliance, whilst the jittering interruptions of the first seem rushed and forced rather than an organic feature of the track.

This is undoubtedly the work of talented musicians wearing their influences on their sleeves, but is distinctive enough to qualify as a strong release in this niche genre. It will be interesting to observe how their music develops over future releases. Although they may instead continue to explore the current incarnation of their sound, if they do choose to evolve there is a sense that they may be capable of something special.

by Now Then Sheffield