Wibutee Sweet Mental

Long-time exemplars of the Norwegian electro jazz scene, Wibutee have composed a dizzyingly varied record with Sweet Mental. The only real human connection occurs with the voice of Håkon Kornstad on "Crash Hit” and the lovely lyric reading by Anja Garbarek on "The Ball.” Otherwise, it’s a technological landscape where acoustic noises are trans-mutated into digitised creations that resemble shifting moods and music. "Aalo” has all the playfulness of TV crime show’s theme, while "Travel With You” tests a horn section with awkward time signatures atop a solid foundation of guitars, before slinking into a provocative electronic breakdown. "It’s All Here” is an impressive collage of programmed beats and processed sounds. "Sebastopol” borders on poppy for a group otherwise interested in exploring techno and jazz, and, like most songs here, it takes some interesting detours along its sonic route. "Two with Nature” epitomises the subtlety of the band’s approach to making quite heavy music. Its mid-tempo is a mask for the intense musical interplay waiting to bubble up and over the song’s structure. It’s a trait that Wibutee reveal many times over Sweet Mental, lending the record a taut push-and-pull structure. (Diminished Fifth)