Lope And Antilope ‘Get the Blessing’ (Naïm) 4/5

Get-the-BlessingBritish band Lope And Antilope have a truly original take on music and one that defies easy categorisation into one musical bag, or another. There are elements of both avant-garde jazz and jazz-rock, but equally a gentle and subtle use of electronica and melodicism that is more film soundtrack than hard core jazz. The addition of Radiohead drummer Clive Deames adds a supplementary esoteric, yet nonetheless accessible feel to the overall sound. The sheer open-mindedness of the band is typified by the shuffling mid-tempo piece ‘Quiet’ with just the faintest touch of electronica in the background. Arguably Lope And Antilope’s catholic taste has been fostered by listening to a plethora of musical influences that range from Ornette Coleman and Miles Davis (from his ‘Bitches Brew’ era onwards) to Latin, rap and other underground musical styles. Thus ‘Corniche’ is reminiscent of a Michael Nyman soundtrack for a Peter Greenaway film with its clever use of guitar and saxophone riffs playing off one another while, if it is introspective sweetness you are after, then ‘Hope (for the moment) with electric keyboard and trumpet duet will surely appeal. Elements of dub echo and heavy bass line grooves surface on ‘Little Ease’ while ‘Lope’ features some Latin-infused vamps and a percussive riff-laden bass. In summation, then, Lope And Antilopeoffer an original take on music with intelligent and invariably catchy riffs with a creative use of both acoustic and electronic instrumentation. If the music is not always evident on the first hearing, then repeated listens do make for an enriching musical experience. Tim Stenhouse