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Reviewed by Aleisha Ward

Mass Spectrometer: Périphérique EP

Reviewed by Aleisha Ward

Mass Spectrometer: Périphérique EP

Founded by Kiwis Michael Canning and Ilmars Gravis in Sheffield in 1999, British avant garde jazz group Mass Spectrometer have released their third recording ‘Périphérique’ on the Ghostjogger label. Recorded by Canning at Czar Street Studios in Leeds, and Piano Recording in Sheffield, mixed by and mastered by Canning and David Whitaker, this atmospheric jazz suite was inspired by “the nightmare that is Ring Road of Paris.” Hence the title. The current iteration of Mass Spectrometer is a six-piece that’s moved away from their initial guitar riff heavy stylings and into using drums, bass and keys as the base for their compositions and performance. This is not an album that will suit everyone, it’s out there and easily identifiable, hummable melodies are not part of Mass Spectrometer’s current purview. ‘Périphérique’ is a slickly produced EP, but at the same time, it’s perhaps a bit tame for the free-improvisation fans. It is, however, a good introduction for anyone who might want to dip their toe in the atmospheric jazz waters. There are pleasing notes of tension and dissonance (both actual and emotive), but I could wish that they were sustained for longer, and were more layered. A solid outing by an interesting group.