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Pulled By Magnets debut delivers explorative hit and miss doom jazz

"Rose Golden Doorways"

Release date: 28 February 2020
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28 February 2020, 16:16 Written by Joseph Blais
After nearly two decades shaping the post-jazz scene, drummer Seb Rochford (Polar Bear, Sons of Kemet, Basquiat Strings) breaks it down with his new project Pulled By Magnets.

Rose Golden Doorways, the first record from Rochford’s new trio, has mass. With just three instruments and no overdubs, the group soundtrack the throbbing underbelly of a grey brutalist metropolis. They meld electronic noise, drone, meandering stoner riffage and controlled free improvisation, evoking the metallic ambience of an abandoned hangar, where jazz becomes cinematic, industrial, and uncanny.

Recorded live in a church, the space morphs and grows, becoming more a phantom member of the band than a DIY studio. Somehow the huge reverb makes the drums sound more oppressive. Often, the saxophone fades into a cavern of delay and reverb, distorting feedback loops swirling through the stereo image. Bassist Neil Charles’ arsenal of effects augments his sound beyond the confines of the instrument: is that a growling bass synth or a German bow on a double bass?

Tracks blur into each other — the album is more a monolithic entity than a collection of songs. It’s Daniel Lanois without the emotional catharsis, Colin Stetson with a band, Brian Blade covering Swans.

Unfortunately, despite the gravitas, at times it feels a bit like you’re listening to a late-night free jazz jam. When it hits the mark, Rose Golden Doorways rears its head and roars in a concrete wasteland, but there are moments of chin-stroking weirdness that fall flat of the eldritch dread Rochford and co are trying to create.

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