Meat Beat Manifesto :: Off-Centre (Thirsty Ear, CD)

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(11.05.05) Off-Centre is a nice companion to At The Centre, Jack Dangers’ entry into the new-jazz series that Thirsty Ear is putting out. Off-Centre collects three new tracks, two live tracks from their recent North American tour, and a remix of At the Centre‘s leadoff track, “Wild.” Said remix falls a little flat. But perhaps this is not the failure of JD, but the final turn into the cul-de-sac that At The Centre‘s new-jazz sound tries to expand.

“Postcards” is a completely different beast, however. Jack pulls out the old-school fat bass key and lets The Bad Plus’ Dave King just play the hell out of the trademark MBM breakbeat. “Maintain Discipline,” the second of the new tracks, also acquits itself well, pulsing and grooving in a Zamfir-gone-Kingston headspace. Dangers’ under-used talent on the bass flute is also well showcased on this track, as is the deft Rhodes work by Craig Taborn.

The two live tracks, both recorded at Chicago’s Metro in June of this year are a nice souvenir of the live show. “Shotgun! (Blast to the Brain)” seems to be pretty true-to-studio in its execution, and “Prime Audio Soup” becomes the urgent anthem it always should have been. It should be noted that with the exception of Lynn Farmer’s exceptional drumming, Mark Pistel, Ben Stokes, and JD are all using samplers, both audio and video. While lacking in their visual counterparts, the two live tracks do succeed in getting you out of your chair and onto the dance floor, should any DJ be brave enough to play them.

Off-Centre is out now on Thirsty Ear Recordings.

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