Machine Mass - Inti

Machine Mass Inti cover
Machine Mass
MoonJune Records
What is going to happen if an innovative and – in his own words – ostracized drummer, together with an avant-prog rock guitarist who is also a Frank Zappa fan join a legendary virtuoso saxophonist to make a band?
The trio I am talking about is called Machine Mass because when they play live, except for the three musicians, Tony Bianko on drums and loops, Michel Delville on electric guitar and guitar-synth and Dave Liebman on saxophone and flute, there is also a “computer” on stage interacting with them. Nowadays, technology has evolved so much that it is possible for a computer to generate unpredictable and subtle variations – pretending that it isn’t just a dumb machine – a key element that distinguishes humans from machines!
We have all listened to computer generated music that is boring and untalented. The fault doesn’t lie with the computer itself but with its usage. Have you heard about loops in jazz? Common loops are very short but what if a drum loop is about 100 bars long? Can you tell the difference? The answer lies in this intelligently innovative album.
Now about the music itself. Dave Liebman plays so smoothly and naturally that you won’t realize what is happening underneath; I mean how complex the rhythm and the chord progressions really are. There is a piece called “Utoma”, where Liebman starts improvising from the beginning. Then he stops for a while and the underlying structure is revealed. I realized that I had just watched an “acrobat” performing; a virtuoso that can traverse the world like he is walking along a beach!
Michel’s use of synthesized sounds together with Bianco’s out of space rhythms, establish an ideal background for improvising. The result is sonically balanced and colorful.
I must admit that I don’t have the knowledge to conceptualize what is happening below the surface musically, but I can surely tell you that I really enjoyed listening to this album and shortly afterwards it was like my mind had been unblocked! I’m talking about a sense of freedom.
I think that Bianco’s combination of the opposites, where you can hear “time and no time, a beat… no beat, a key… no key” simply breaks the chains. So the road gets fully open for the saxophone and the guitar to imprint scenes and landscapes, to tell their story.
Everybody who composes music initially creates what he likes to hear in order to feel better. It’s like a soul medicine. Such pure and honest music is not just for musicians but for all of us. A pulse without a count…