Now It’s The Future is the fifth release by North Carolina-based “experimental progressive jazz trio” Vintage Astronaut. To the credit of the trio’s leader John Daniel Ray, the the music is taken up by heavy electronics and funky bass grooves, alongside keyboard and synth improvisations from Michael Kinchen.
All of this is underpinned by a consistently strong rhythmic backbone from Jonathan Collin Greene. In fact, Greene’s fast-paced, occasionally aggressive drumming is often overwhelming – moving in directions that are sometimes at odds with where the music on the whole seems to be heading.
Nevertheless, it’s a vibe that Vintage Astronaut stick with, save for a few more introspective passages in compositions such as Living The Dream (which opens the album with Eno-like ambience), and the 14-minute long prog groove Sorry For All The Climate Change, in which there is sandwiched a particularly tight bass solo.
Ray is rather adept at stretching the traditional parameters of the bass guitar, moving into the very upper registers of his instrument and mimicking what could otherwise be mistaken for an electric guitar solo.
On the whole, the juxtaposition between ethereal prog-jazz harmonies and heavy, driving rhythms is good in short bursts, but a bit trying for the album’s full 70-minute run time.
Living The Dream; Text Message From Saturn; Toy Story 37; Liquid Crystal Cocktail; Sorry For All The Climate Change; Dreamstate Mind-Hockey; The Underwater, High-G Tunnelling Machine Named Timothy; Evolution Of A Math Problem (70.43)
John Daniel Ray (b, elec); Michael Kinchen (kyb, syn); Jonathan Greene (d). No place or date given.
Mr Haircut Records