POP / Riffs: A shower of hard, warm rain: Mick Harris of Scorn on Herbie Hancock's psychedelic 'Rain Dance'

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The Independent Online
'IT'S only about five minutes long but it's a perfect blend of fusion jazz and experimental electronics. It's a large band - live drums, two bass players, funky guitar, brass, and Herbie on keyboards, playing a Fender Rhodes and a Hammond, and messing around with loads of knobs and sliders. There are passages where they drop the mood, and each player gets a solo. But nobody's leading, they just work around each other and build into a hypnotic groove. The beauty is they're jamming live - you can hear they're having fun.

Everything is heavily treated, but you can still tell what type of keyboards Hancock is playing. He uses lots of early analogue synthesisers, oscillating things all the time to create some really twisted sounds, total psychedelia. It's positive, but very moody - a roller-coaster ride between incredible funk and some real dark sounds. It's a very warm recording, and it makes me incredibly happy, but for some people it's too free. You have to admire him for his foresight - this was 1974, and he was only 22 or 23, straight out of Miles Davis's band.'

'Sextant' (CBS 65582) (vinyl) is available in Germany only

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