Hadouko Baldamore

It’s a fine line between jam band fatuousness and cutting edge rhythm abstraction. When it comes to instrumental trios these days, often these two tendencies coexist in the same tune. The conventional template of the rhythm section/solo instrument so standardised in jazz has exploded. In the case of the Hadouk Trio, a project of Gong co-founder Didier Malherb, the three members are constantly changing instruments and leading/supporting roles. The sound they’re going for has great potential for cheese, what with bansuri flutes and panpipes floating over the cavernous reverb. But more often than not it ends up sounding like a particularly inspired Bill Laswell production. The band play well together, so it doesn’t take long for most grooves to lock down into some serious dub postures, all the while anchored by hand drums and North African sentirs. Unlike a lot of Laswell projects, the songs are at the heart of these grooves and the use of microtonal harmonies gives some much needed tension to these billowing rhythms. (Naïve)