Album Reviews

Album Review | ReDiviDeR | meets I Dig Monk, Tuned

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ReDiviDeR, Matthew Jacobson, Colm O’Hara, Derek Whyte, Nick Roth, have a fondness for word play both in their band name and titles, (anagrams and palindromes feature heavily). This playful inquisitive spirit flows through the music in the 7 accomplished compositions on “meets I Dig Monk, Tuned”

This youthful Dublin based quartet describe themselves as a “two horns no chord band” and on this album are joined by a series of UK based guest performers; indeed, composer and band percussionist Mr. Jacobson specially composed a piece for each of his four invited collaborators. The result is an inspired endeavour.

“Twin Kodes” re-jumbled give us the name of guest star Kit Downs who plays keyboard on the opener. [Check out this to see what they nearly called it!]. Split into three segments (of sorts) this is infectious and moves between the frenetic and chilled with such grace and ease that you’d think these guys had been playing together for 40 years.

After a brief dubby little number titled “I, Lute Nerd” (we’ll need the scrabble bag to figure out that one) the second collaboration is “Animal Code” with trumpeter Alex Bonney. This is possibly the most invigorating piece in this collection. After an opening few bars Bernard Herrmann would be proud of discordant phrases and growing dissonance start to paint literal pictures. Experiencing the voices swirl around each other I’m reminded of a winter morning in the Zoo listening to the calls and cries of beasts blanketed in mist.

“Bin Saved” is magnificent and features the Cello of Ben Davis. As voices enter the fray one by one the piece has some of the most tonal passages in this collection, including beautiful solos with a distinct folk music quality, and melodic lyrical airs.

“End it Rule” is a further brief flex of the muscles before Alex Roth’s guitar guests on “Velvet Pouch” – try to listen to this one without swinging something – a varied and intricate journey through Jazz, Rock and Melody.

“May I agree” closes the album on an upbeat, the quartet are a family chatting and relaxing after sending friends home.

In assembling such a varied cast of performers, and giving such attention in the compositions to each component; ReDiviDeR and company have created music where each player has their voice heard, yet the sum is more again. Like some fine Italian cooking, a few ingredients used the right way produces something unexpected, satisfying and hugely enjoyable.

You can buy ReDiviDeR meets I Dig Monk, Tuned on Diatribe from 7 October 2013 here.

Review by CD

Check out ReDiviDeR’s series of blind dates below:

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Categories: Album Reviews, Best Albums

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