Erik Hove Soundclash

Montreal sax player Erik Hove makes a bold statement with his new release, Soundclash. Pairing up P-Love’s turntables with a sax/bass/drums ensemble offers him new opportunities in composition, groove and texture. One look at Hove’s CV reveals two important associations. The first is his education with saxophonist Greg Osby. Osby’s ’80s era M Base sensibility of harmonically challenging avant funk is shot through this project. As well, Hove is a member of Balkan beat dispenser Lubo Alexandrov’s Kaba Horo band. The Balkan penchant for complicated time signatures and aggressive horn leads meshes well with the spiralling tension of the M Base influences. Sometimes P Love scratches away as a rhythmic accompaniment, sometimes he harmonizes with Hove’s melodies and other times his speeding up and slowing down of the turntables determines the theme of entire songs, such as "Mental Fitness.” His versatility as an ensemble participant or as a lead is impressive. What’s less impressive are the grooves that sound too wound up to be fully enjoyed and the occasionally contrived sax/turntable passages, which sound more like novelty effects than essential statements. (Effendi)