Mooshim

Mooshim brought some wintry soundscapes to the BJC with a rare and interesting combination of genres: if you drew a line from Bartok to Thelonius Monk, then veered left at Soft Machine and added a dash of Steve Reich and Eberhard Weber, you’re in the general area.

The use of woodwinds soloing over immaculately repetitive piano figures marks them with a slightly European/ECM feel , which also means that the complex rhythms are not tonally confrontational, and the use of a standard drum-kit provides a dramatic foundation for those time signatures so that the bowed bass is free to alternate between ostinato and melodic counterpoint.

The guests on vibes and violin added to the rich mixture, and unlike so many ‘experimental’ outfits in the borderlands between 20th century classical and post be-bop, the ensemble (and the composer) generally steer clear of dissonance for its own sake, making for a pleasantly challenging environment instead of a cacophonous one.

I could also hear echoes of Stravinsky and Messiaen, but that’s enough referencing: this band is truly contemporary and original in the best sense, and Brisbane is lucky to have them: go and see them with open ears and mind, if you don’t, you’re missing out……Greg M. 11 July 2013