Machine and the Synergetic Nuts - "Leap Second Neutral"
(Cuneiform Records 2005, RUNE 210)
From Aural Innovations #31 (June 2005)
Formed in 1997, Machine and the Synergetic Nuts are a Japanese quartet that play a high powered brand of jazz fusion that rocks hard over a 70's influenced foundation of jazz, funk and Canterbury styled prog-jazz. Leap Second Neutral is their second CD and first on the Cuneiform label. The band consists of Masahide "Mahi-Mahi" Hasegawa on saxophones, Toshiaki Sudoh (ex-Melt Banana) on drums, Hiroyuki Suzuki on bass and Noriya Iwata on keyboards, plus guests on guitar and percussion.
Throughout the album we've got loads of rocking, funky 70's styled jazz fusion. Some of the best moments remind me of a combination of Soft Machine and late 60's/early 70's electric Miles Davis. But while the sweet sounds of yesteryear are well in evidence, the band can rock hard, with ripping, almost metallic guitars, that put the Synergetic Nuts own stylistic stamp on the music. Mushroom is an obvious modern day analogy, though the Nuts are far more high powered, with a much heavier rocking edge. "Neutral", "Oz" and "Texas" are among my favorite tracks for their balls out rocking approach to fusion. "Texas" is a total fucking MONSTER that completely blew me away. Really spaced out hard rocking and high intensity fusion.
The tracks are mostly in the 5-7 minute range which gives the band plenty of room to develop their tightly executed compositions, without stretching too far into freeform jams. The musicianship is excellent and the compositions are crafted such that we get to experience each member's role within a tightly knit ensemble. In summary, if you dig 70's jazz-rock fusion but want something more than pure retro, then step right this way because Leap Second Neutral is a smoker.
For more information you can visit the Machine and the Synergetic Nuts web site at: http://www.alibabarecords.com/msnet.
Visit the Cuneiform Records web site at: http://www.cuneiformrecords.com.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz