Nightports, Tom Herbert - Nightports with Tom Herbert, Leaf ****

Solo bass, that's the Tom Herbert part. Producing and mixing that's the Nightports (Adam Martin and Mark Slater) role. It's subtle what Nightports do, a little like the way a well-lit room can make all the difference to the energy of the space or …

Published: 24 May 2022. Updated: 42 days.

Solo bass, that's the Tom Herbert part. Producing and mixing that's the Nightports (Adam Martin and Mark Slater) role. It's subtle what Nightports do, a little like the way a well-lit room can make all the difference to the energy of the space or the frame on a photograph can help make the image sear in to the mind's eye.

Essentially Herbert, best known for his work with Polar Bear (and recently heard on Dreamers with Elliot Galvin, and ex-Bear neither grizzly he nor Mark Lockheart) here recording in Stoke Newington studio Total Refreshment Centre in 2019. 'Arcs' the overall highlight has a dervish, dancing, quality and throughout the album by means of overdubs and wrap-around electronics sounds populated not clinical like a bass all on its tod. That kind of album is a very different experience.

'Lumin' goes almost ravey davey, you know solo dancer late-at-night having an unselfconscious twirl while everyone else is standing around the floor chewing the fat and not a bit embarrassed at the spectacle. 'Hydrodynamica' goes a step further with fat punctuation, lots of elasticity, bent notes and a more insistent technological chorus.

There are plenty of meticulous avant-garde statements (say the dystopia of 'Vacancy') scattered along the way. Pan-stylistic in nature, open-minded in the sprit of questing for answers there's lots to savour. State of the art music making Herbert once more an agenda setter that you'd be ill advised to ignore while Nightports flicker tantalisingly like pearly kings resplendent in their very own sonic manor togging Tom out in the finest aural smoke and mirrors to grab your shell-like. SG

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Recommended gigs - tonight & next few days spanning London, Dublin & Glasgow

Tonight Deschanel Gordon trio, East Side, London Wednesday Nate Smith Kinfolk, Jazz Cafe, London Drummer, composer, bandleader Nate Smith film fans may remember in lesser-known actor guise as the onscreen drummer character in 2014's Oscar best …

Published: 24 May 2022. Updated: 42 days.

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Drummer, composer, bandleader Nate Smith film fans may remember in lesser-known actor guise as the onscreen drummer character in 2014's Oscar best picture-winning Birdman. A few years later Postcards from Everywhere was a revelation in 2017 a sprawling but compelling album that proved modern and in the real world: a diverse assembling that summed up where the music was heading at the time by embracing melody, rhythm, a range of hybrids, harnessing electricity as well as delving into the unplugged fabric of the sound, a little bit of vocalising and that popular spoken word element heard more and more even from Generation Xers to land upon family history and a personal story. It still sounds fresh. Notable among many delights on the record was pianist-keyboardist Kris Bowers who has found fame as a film composer for instance for the 2019 Oscar best picture-winning Don Shirley-inspired road movie, Green Book.

Deschanel Gordon, top. Photo: East Side site

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