This trio is on a completely different musical stratosphere than most of their contemporaries. Part Sci-Fi Film Score and part Nu Jazz. It has grit and pushes jazz forward in a way that perhaps hasn't been done before. They've put their stamp on it and it's refreshing to hear something unique!
New Devices is the 3rd album from Leeds based trio and Mercury Prize nominees Roller Trio. A unique trio, their sound is modern and gritty, pushing sonic boundaries to their limits. Switching the feel of a tune in a heartbeat from edgy improv to anthemic power riffs to reverb-swamped note storms, Roller Trio are powerful and progressive. For this album, the line-up includes Chris Sharkey, a guitarist at the cutting-edge of contemporary guitar improv, alongside James Mainwaring, saxophone & electronics and Luke Reddin-Williams, drums. Their mix of high octane technicality and deceptively catchy tunes has transcended their Jazz heritage, bringing them acclaim from fans and critics alike. Their eponymous debut album was nominated for the 2012 Mercury Prize and the band were also nominated for MOBO's Best Jazz Act that same year.
The new album’s theme is as relevant as it could be in today’s social climate. New Devices reflects people’s confused relationship with technology and the public participation in self-surveillance. As James explains: ‘We couldn’t have made this album without technology, the devices used in music making and the online communication, yet we’re concerned about the future and the impact social media will have on the next generation - Do we really have a grip on our relationship with technology?’.
The music is dark, gritty and urban - menacing bass lines underpinned by squalling improvising from guitar and sax attaining ultimately uplifting fulfilment. Built from sound fragments of Leeds nightlife formed and reformed through the musical intelligence and instrumental brilliance of the three musicians it’s an exhilarating, rollicking ride - an exercise in freeform free fall, a three for all free-for-all, moderated by the musical logic and compositional rigour of the pieces.
released June 22, 2018
Engineered by Ben Eyes (Moral Alignment and STUDIO VISIONARY) at the Trevor Jones Studio, University of York
Mixed by Chris Sharkey and Alex Bonney
Mastered by Peter Beckmann at Technologyworks Mastering
There is some real magic happening with this release. So much going on with Edition Records founder, Dave Stapleton leading the way on keyboards, Deri Roberts electronics and Elliot Bennett driving the beat so expertly on drums. The other musicians adding guitar, bass and horns flesh out the sound. This is a wonderful recording with amazing arrangements to experience on vinyl! One of the best from 2018 for sure! Rob O.