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SZUN WAVES

Szun Waves

Earth Patterns

    The members of Szun Waves may not have been collectively in the same country, let alone room, for over two years, but that hasn’t prevented them from realising their third album, Earth Patterns.

    The trio – comprised of producer Luke Abbott, saxophonist Jack Wyllie (Portico Quartet) and drummer Laurence Pike (Triosk/PVT/Liars) – recorded the album sessions together at the tail end of their 2019 European tour, locking themselves away in the studio for three days of improvisation. They emerged with hours of music, some inspired by their live shows, most born fresh in the studio itself, ready to be moulded into the group’s third album in five years.

    However, with Laurence marooned in Australia, and Luke and Jack grounded in different parts of the UK, it meant an unexpected reassessment of the band’s creative remit, and the enforced long gestation period almost inadvertently ended up creating the most fully-formed Szun Waves record to date.

    Where second album, New Hymn To Freedom, had its face tilted up to the heavens, Earth Patterns is a more grounded record, and in places, a more claustrophobic one: Wyllie’s saxophone squalls ripple in the background as Pike’s dense drums clatter, both shaped and guided by the atmospherics of Abbott’s synths. Moments of jazz harmony collide with cinematic soundscapes; long searching passages build into kaleidoscopic frenzies.

    “I think the record we've ended up with is an emotional outpouring,” Abbott says. “There's a fluidity to it that feels like we tapped into something quite raw. The last record felt like drifting in space but I see this new record as a journey from the outer reaches of the universe down onto the earth, like a macrocosm to microcosm arc,” he explains.


    TRACK LISTING

    Side A
    A1. Exploding Upwards
    A2. New Universe
    A3. Garden
    A4. In The Moon House
    Side B
    B1. Be A Pattern For The World
    B2. Willow Leaf Pear
    B3. Atomkerne

    Szun Waves

    New Hymn To Freedom

      Sometimes in improvised music there can be a distance between listener and players, a sense you’re sitting back and admiring their interplay and abstraction – but with Szun Waves’ second album, you’re right in there with them, inside the playing, experiencing the absolute joy the three musicians feel as they circle around each other, exploring the spaces they’ve opened up.

      The three members already have sparkling pedigrees of their own. Norfolk’s Luke Abbott is well known for his explorations of the zones between pure ambience and the leftmost fringes of club culture. With Portico Quartet and Circle Traps, Jack Wyllie has been in the vanguard of UK fusions of jazz, classical and club music. Australian drummer Laurence Pike has likewise found a unique voice in improvised and experimental music-making, whether in the bands Triosk or PVT, or as a solo artist.

      The trio’s musical relationship has grown naturally and steadily, and it shows. From Wyllie adding shimmering sustained sax notes to Abbott’s gorgeous ambient pieces in 2013, Szun Waves emerged when Pike was added to the mix, energizing the sound but still keeping its levitational qualities. Their 2016 self-released debut album hit a natural groove, and now they’re in a place of pure spontaneity: "New Hymn To Freedom" is a document of six entirely live improvisations – no edits or overdubs – and its title couldn’t be more apt. 


      TRACK LISTING

      A1. Constellation (video)
      A2. Fall Into Water
      B1. High Szun
      B2. Temple
      C1. Moon Runes
      C2. New Hymn To Freedom
      D. Slow Motion (vinyl Only Bonus Track)


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