Birth

Find

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For a group of such young players, Birth display an awful lot of confidence. It's not without reason, either. Like their debut, Find is a thick, muscular record of avant grooves which careen from Joshua Smith's typically free sax squonk to more drum'n'bass-influenced numbers. Despite the obvious electronica influence displayed on tracks like the opening "Seek," or the dub-affected snare hits mixed in throughout, Birth remain, first and foremost, a contemporary cerebral jazz trio. Near the end of "The Round One," featuring guest trumpeter Cuong Vu (of the Pat Methany Group), the band emerge into a sweet ballad melody, which is then slowly deconstructed through drummer Joe Tomino's counter rhythms before disintegrating into an almost ambient horn meltdown. The approach is typical of the band, who sound like the Slip, if the Slip had chosen to follow their original jazz leanings, as opposed to the jam-band path they chose to follow. The next track, bassist Jeremy Bleich's "Bismallah," begins in an almost IDM fashion (calling to mind the Squarepusher influence they proudly proclaim) before launching into a fairly mundane freak-out. Nonetheless, they've hit on a pretty interesting idea: that so-called intelligent dance music is the free jazz of the electronic scene. It's a fusion they approach at other points on Find, usually when working out in more dissonant territory, but rarely explicate. When they do, their sound will be a truly original one.

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