# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Drift - Noumena

  by Mark Rowland

published: 23 / 12 / 2005

Drift - Noumena
Label: Temporary Residence
Format: CD


Subtle debut album from the Drift, whose music, despite drawing comparisions with Tortoise, has more in common with jazz great Miles Davis

The Drift have been compared to Tortoise in past reviews and although there are similarities between the two bands, the Drift are more of a sophisticated modern jazz band at heart, albeit with some post-rock influences. ‘Noumena’ has a similar vibe to it as Miles Davis’ ‘A Silent Way’; spacious, layered, oceanic and grittily urban sounding at different times on the record, practically split into a ‘light’ and ‘dark’ section. Initially, the Drift bring to mind lazy afternoons on a deserted beach on a pleasant winter’s day – probably induced by the odd wave sound that washes over the music at certain points on the record. Opener ‘Gardening, Not Architecture’ builds up slowly as a tune emerges from a wall of electronic noise. Jeff Jacob’s trumpet playing is definitely influenced by Miles, his drawn out, sharp tones rising above the rest of the music before dipping back down again. Jacob’s and guitar/keys player Danny Grody take turns in playing the top melody lines throughout ‘Noumena’, occasionally weaving their parts together, as in the driving crescendo of ‘Invisible Cities’, with Safa Shokrai’s thick, gloopy upright bass pulling the track forward throughout. ‘Transatlantic’ changes the mood of the record abruptly, transporting you from your beach to a dark tense night in San Francisco, the band’s home town. The fact that the background electronic noises on the track sound a bit like American police sirens adds to this feeling. As the track gathers momentum, the dark atmospherics bring to mind Brian MacMahan’s post-Slint project the For Carnation, only jazzier, until the band ups the tempo seven minutes in. ‘Inconsistency Principle’ carries on from where ‘Transatlantic’ left off, its stop-start rhythms giving it a slight hip-hop feel. Closer ‘Fractured Then Gathered (reprise)’ lifts the mood of ‘Noumena’ again with its slow, chiming, Eastern-influenced sound. ‘Noumena’ is a real record to get lost in. Like most of Miles’ back-catalogue, this is best listened to with headphones in and eyes closed, really listening to the albums textures and moods.

Track Listing:-
1 Gardening, Not Architecture
2 Invisible Cities
3 Hearts Are Flowers
4 Transatlantic
5 Inconsistency Principle
6 Fractured Then Gathered (Reprise)

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