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CD review: Polar Bear, In Each And Every One (The Leaf Label)

Polar Bear

Polar Bear

In Each And Every One

(The Leaf Label)

Since Polar Bear's previous album (2010's Peepers), their guiding light, drummer Sebastian Rochford, right, has participated in all sorts of musical situations, from the Africa Express jams that saw him collaborate with Malian singer Rokia Traore, Paul McCartney and John Paul Jones to recording adventures with Brian Eno and the coolly explorative Trio Libero, with saxophonist Andy Sheppard and bassist Michel Benita. Something from all of these tête-à-têtes might be said to have found its way into these tracks as Rochford continues to splice melodic simplicity with electronica and the tones and possibilities of jazz improvisation in his sometimes darkly industrial musical landscapes. Although he's said to have given the band's laptop specialist, Leafcutter John, a free hand with the beats involved, Rochford's directing hand is detectable, as witness Two Storms' contrasting saxophones - one scalar, the other probing - and the hypnotic drum patterns, insistent musical hooks and atmospheric moods that make this another fascinating step on Polar Bear's singular journey.

Rob Adams

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