20 Oct 2020
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Hummucide - EP Review: Hummucide

15 Oct 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland

The debut studio EP from Wellington-based jazz quartet Hummucide is the latest release in what has been quite a busy period for the band, as this is their fourth release in recent months. Both 8 Mullups (which has had more than 30,000 plays on Spotify) and Reacher have been released as singles, and this 23-minute-long EP finds them joined by I’m Just A Bag of Bones and The Mothership Left Without Me. These last two, along with Reacher and a few other songs can also be found on Live at the Arcade so arguably there is no actual new material on this release, as all the songs have been released in one way or another already, but for someone like myself coming across them for the very first time that really isn’t an issue at all!

Saxophonist Toby Leman (Dr. Reknaw, Revulva, General Vibe), keyboard player Ben Stewart (Sky Canvas, Dr. Reknaw), drummer Lennox Grootjans (Dr. Reknaw) and bassist Hugo Olsen-Smith (O and the Mo, Evolving Wilds) all started out at the Te Koki NZSM, and have honed their sound on the road, and it shows. Although the rhythm section is as busy as one would expect in this format, the guys actually stay quite a long way in the background. This is particularly true for Olsen-Smith whose electric bass sound is low in the mix, providing more of an ambience than a strong bottom end, which means the drums feel quite free and loose, more vibrant, and sharper.

Both Stewart and Leman are content to take the melodic lead, although Leman is the more dominant while Stewart often uses quite dated keyboard sounds and patches to create something which is warm and inviting. The sax has the presence one expects in jazz, clean and dominant, either tying in with the others or taking the music in different directions and creating its own spell. While not easy listening jazz, there is something incredibly inviting which lets in the listener and allows them to wander around and explore the EP at their leisure. It is intriguing and interesting at the softer end of the spectrum without ever falling into the mistake of lounge or fading into the background.

It feels like jazz from the Sixties, and that is perfectly fine with me.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Hummucide

Born out of the thriving music scene in Te Aro, Wellington, Hummucide is a four-piece minimalist-rock-jazz group. From BadBadNotGood to Aphex Twin to Yussef Kamaal, their influences come from far and wide. Their goal is to get you dancing and feeling something special.

The band comprises of Toby Leman on saxophone (Dr. Reknaw, Revulva, General Vibe), Ben Stewart on keyboard and synths (Sky Canvas, Dr. Reknaw), Lennox Grootjans on drums (Dr. Reknaw) and Hugo Olsen-Smith on bass (O and the Mo, Evolving Wilds). They all started out at the prestigious Te Koki NZSM, before traveling their own musical roads and coming back together to form the Hummucide sound.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Hummucide

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