Various Artists - Soul Jazz - Space Funk
No Fixed Point In Space, the third full-length album by Jack Cooper’s Modern Nature, takes the palette of sound and themes that were honed on 2021’s Island Of Noise and launches them into an expansive world of openness and vivid technicolour. It’s a music that hasn’t been heard before; as melodic as anything Cooper has produced but framed by rhythms and instrumentation that reflect the chaos, unpredictability and colour of the natural world.
Certain moorings - woodwind, percussion, strings and Cooper’s lambent voice - are still present and recognisable from No Fixed Point In Space’s predecessor, Island Of Noise but the new record marks a shift to utilising musical notation as a point of departure, from which the group explore the space around suggested notes and rhythms to create a semi-improvised, semi-composed ensemble performance. These explorations of partly organised chance were recorded live and directly to tape.
This approach gives the music a remarkably fresh feel; songs pulse and evolve. The changes between movements, verse and choruses are almost all ambiguous. During the album’s opener Tonic, a verse of hushed brevity washes away into a passage of overwhelmingly vibrant orchestration.