H.I.M. Many in High Places Are Not Well

If you're a fan of Stereolab or Tortoise, this is for you. H.I.M is the brainchild — never has this term been more apt — of Doug Scharin. Over the course of a half dozen albums Doug Scharin has produced half a dozen strategies on how to fit a small orchestra's talents into tightly organised music. Their last two releases have been on Bubblecore Records, a good partnership because label-mates Miceparade point in the same direction of electronic and acoustic polyrhythms. At this point the music is more multicultural than ever, and Scharin is adept at finding a space for all 15 people to fit in. Many in High Places Are Not Well's most notable (or showcased) contributor is kora/ nbalafon/ percussion player Abdou M'boup. These instruments make the African ideas behind them much more explicit. The Teo Macero meets electric Miles methodology has always been a major influence, but this version of H.I.M is more freewheeling than ever before, sounding more like a perfectly realised jam session: loose and tight at the same time. (Bubble Core)