How appropriate that this beauty should reside behind window 8 of our Musical Advent. Consider that number. Placed on its side, it is the symbol for infinity. The infinite loop. Whilst it is the names of Binker and Moses that adorn the plaque above the door, it would be criminal to underplay Max Luthert’s role in crafting this outstanding album.
The connection with number 8? Why, those electronic loops that are created by Luthert’s mastery, of course. This electronic wizard brings another dimension to the work of the two titular protagonists of Feeding The Machine. In case you didn’t know, Binker Golding is a multi-award winning, phenomenally talented saxophonist and composer. Moses Boyd, is equally talented. He is also no stranger to the Musical Advent, having featured in 2020’s list for his Mercury-nominated album, Dark Matter. To call him a drummer is like saying Van Gogh could draw. Together, Binker and Moses make magic.
Feeding The Machine, released on the brilliant Gearbox Records, is a collection of music that is deeper than the Pacific Mariana Trench. This is as intense as it comes. Boyd’s beats are incessant; Golding’s saxophones visceral. And twisting and reshaping it all is Luthert. When I wrote about this album for Louder Than War, I was reading Marlon James’s dark masterpiece, Black Leopard, Red Wolf. Feeding The Machine is the aural manifestation of that novel.
Some other likenesses. Binker and Moses recorded Feeding The Machine virtually off the cuff. Nothing was prepared (much) in advance; improvisation was the dominant vibe. In that sense, in the way that it flows and loops and morphs and returns, it reminded me of Bell Orchestre’s House Music. The music’s hypnotic, mesmerising quality brought to mind another Mercury-nominated album: Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders and the London Symphony Orchestra’s Promises.
The tracks are long and sprawling. Nothing is rushed. Furthermore, their titles describe the music incredibly accurately. These include Asynchronous Intervals, Accelerometer Overdose and After The Machine Settles. Very industrial, soundtracks in fluid, perpetual motion. But, equally, very organic. Most significantly, it is very, very, good.