Published Feb 01, 2019Former El Topo guitarist and one half of experimental electronic duo Darkside (alongside composer Nicolas Jaar), Dave Harrington leads his eclectic psychedelic jazz ensemble through their second album of exploratory musical reveries.
Pure Imagination, No Country commences with "Well," a funky, fuzz-bass-driven warm up that'll immediately pique the interest of Jaga Jazzist fans. The propulsive track doesn't even hit the two-minute mark, and is followed by beautifully sculpted abstract ambient guitar work. It doesn't necessarily "flow" in a traditional sense, but it accurately establishes the skittish trajectory of an album full of free expression and allegiance to no genre, much as the title implies.
And that album title isn't just a metaphor for the manner in which Harrington and company choose to direct their musical energies — the nine-song collection ends with a gorgeous ambient free jazz take on "Pure Imagination" — instrumental, as is the rest of the album.
While it's not the most coherent album, stylistically (frequently vacillating between the highly abstract and the highly composed), it's consistently bold, fresh and packed with innovative genre amalgamations. Fans of sonic freakiness should most certainly pay heed. (Yeggs)