Marcos Fernandes Hybrid Vigor

Fernandes is a percussionist who works with Japanese rhythms within very electronic but jazz-based structures. His overly self-conscious liner notes are a potential warning sign to a painfully contrived attempt at fusion, but fortunately the music is far from clichéd or pedantic. Hybrid Vigor is a series of highly percussive compositions with a good dose of taped sources and heavily electronicised instruments. It sounds like much of the music was recorded live, then processed heavily, but regardless of the method, Fernandes has achieved good togetherness amongst the players. The pieces often develop slowly, but manage to keep the listener interested. Even the pieces composed entirely of taped sources are excellent; they sound like the most compelling collaged street scenes you'll never witness. While so many taped sources are used as a cheap excuse for "ambience," these tape pieces had me straining to hear what was going on in the background - the very opposite of ambience. Fernandes and company's playing is pretty good, but not spectacular, however, this disc isn't really about individual showcases; it's a true fusion of acoustic, electric, electronic and ethnic. (Accretions)