Album of the week VALUE by Phil Donkin’s Masterfrown
Lots of reedy powerplay at work here courtesy of the lively Wanja Slavin and Joris Roelofs, and it is always a pleasure to hear any band featuring Martin France on drums. Phil Donkin is a bassist’s bassist and in this band you can hear his talents better than most (check out his solo at the beginning of the title track, for instance, and later in the same track the ferocious beat Donkin conjures up in a driving tour de force).
Released on trombonist Nils Wogram’s label Nwog there is a teasing quality to a good deal of the writing, I suppose most of all on the fourth part of the ‘Zealot Suite’, and the way the tunes are shaped gives plenty of space for group work and a whole range of earthily spectacular solos. The sound recording quality is also first class.
Melt Yourself Down newly signed to Decca have shared punky new single ‘Boot and Spleen’.
The label glosses the single as “Inspired by the dark history of British colonialism in India, it asks the question: “What is it to be British? What’s that identity now, in 2019? What sort of behaviours are allowed towards minorities, or from minorities towards the majority?”
The London 6-piece was set up by former Acoustic Ladyland and Polar Bear saxophonist, the James Chance and the Contortions-loving Pete Wareham, and is fronted by lead singer Kush Gaya.