TRIBAL LOGIC - Freaky Karma

Tribal Logic - Freaky Karma

4 songs
73:31 minutes
***** ****


Most people outside of Russia probably don’t know a thing about Chelyabinsk, a city with a million inhabitants located south of the Ural mountains, close to Kazakhstan, better known through Borat. Apart from manufacturing Stalin organs during World War II, the city is also home to the improvisational instrumental band Tribal Logic, whose strong roots in jazz music make sure that they never rely on psychedelic noodling.

Their label has released many freeform bands, but none as tight as Tribal Logic, who present two shorter tracks which are still a little longer than ten minutes, and two really monster pieces which make it over the twenty-five minute border. Although the core members play the typical rock instruments guitar, bass, keyboards and drums, they hired the services of guest musicians to add violin, cello, slide guitar and soprano saxophone, so that every track has at least one outside person giving their input.

The opener Detective starts in a very ambient mood before the last few minutes play with avant prog and contemporary classical structures. The longer Wooden Rain starts more like a regular progressive rock song, due to the retro organ sounds, before an oriental rhythm takes over, and I swear I heard them even do a Tchaikovsky interpretation. The title track Freaky Karma is jazzier again and takes advantage of genial saxophone parts, before another magnum opus, Theoretical Vampirism, ends the album again on a more progressive note.

Of course there is happening much more, especially during the monster tracks, but enumerating every detail would take the fun of discovery away from the audience. I am normally not that much into freeform music, but Tribal Logic have combined improvisation with composition elements in such a balanced way that Freaky Karma is full of surprises without ever sounding chaotic or haphazard. Fans of progressive rock who don’t mind the inclusion of foreign genres like jazz, avant-garde and contemporary music will have a field day with these long pieces full of discoverable ideas.

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