In an acrobatic leap over their debut, Swedish duo Djinn explore the boundaries of psych-jazz on their latest LP Transmission. Formed from members of Hills and Goat, the pair scrape the foam from works that explored both the cosmic pulse and the earthen shake of bone on bone. As they creep into the record, howls in harmony with the sickened ether begin to rise from the speakers. The pair shake out rhythms that wax wounded before the sax starts to crawl in from the corners. Though this is by no means and album untethered from the groove. It’s always there thrumming from the heart, steaming for the ground, hiding in the shadows. The band grab at the mantras of Don Cherry, Popul Vuh, Herbie Hancock, and The Art Ensemble of Chicago, though they also name check Arbete Och Fritid from their home turf as well.
As they sidle to the side of the pulse proper, the pair prove hypnotic, letting the rhythm wash in waves while they scratch, yowl and burn in a soul-soaked groove that proves they’ve been paying attention to the creased corners of their favorite records all along. Alongside their sax and drums setup the record lets in a raft of flutes, guitar, piano and percussive shakers. The album unfolds as a longform landscape, funk-dinged one moment and awash in elegiac tones the next. They sew in sweat, letting the listener get swept along in the patterns of turbulence and calm. While the debut set them apart from their past, the new record digs into their desires, walking the cut path of masters before them. They might not be cutting the path anew, but they’re keeping their footing with deft skill. This one has found its way onto my speakers again and again over the past few weeks, and the pulse tends to burn into the veins with a new fire each time.
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