Alien Chatter Invasion EP 1 & 2

Alien Chatter Invasion EP 1 & 2
Alien Chatter are Satnam Ramgotra on tabla and percussion and Rodney Lee on acoustic piano, synths and electronics. What sets this duo apart from other funky tabla hybrids is Ramgotra’s kit playing, which resolutely places jazz before funk. He plays kit drums like he plays tablas; it doesn’t sound like he’s got the urgency of break beats on his mind, as he slides into, rather than powers through, grooves. Other elements of the project aren’t quite so special, with some of the melodies and soloing betraying a love of sterile ’70s fusion. There are also comparisons to be made with contemporary jazz piano trios like the Bad Plus, in that the voicing of the melodic parts may be led by the piano but supported by rhythm-identified instruments. Moreover, the use of electronics is always inventive without sounding too smooth or pretentious. The off balance elements of Alien Chatter’s rhythmic communication make them an ensemble to watch. (Six Degrees)