Driven by the urge to wander into unknown spaces I called out for something new. First to answer the call was Shivers' Chris Sharkey, obligingly sharing a link to their latest EP. Other than a mention of "experimental" I didn't know where I was heading but I'd twicthhiked my way to slaking my thirst for newness in record time.
I smiled. The headphones went on.
A two-track EP suggests a Spartan offering but that can't be said about #3 which swerves the torpid tag thanks largely to the three involving movements that make up opener "And and And".
Instantly compelling, a counterpoint of industry and beauty sweeps in to form the opening shot. Forming a measured crescendo within itself, the first four minutes is pure propulsion. From stomach-rumbling bass through to defined percussion and mesmerising keys: progress is unhalted.
Without catching its breath the perfect pressure drops, climax gives way and a new pulse emerges. One of funk-dipped syncopation and more astounding production quality than I can do justice.
Precise momentum builds. Things happen at the right points. You're not wanting change or development but it happens where it does and it's rewarding. A stuttering of machines then calm ensues. The final movement, celestial almost, feels like an awakening. A civilization's being rebooted, somewhere.
"Buffalo" has two personalities which breed a palpable uncertainty. There's warmth through the animalistic bass. This, increasingly at odds with a darker presence: a metallic scythe lunging and slashing. Tension builds. Beats drop to resolve the conflict adding form and purpose to the sound and transforming the track into something full.
I've had plenty of listens now and even now I'm not sure I know what Shiver are. I know I like it though so that'll do for me. Is this electro-jazz? I don't know and really - does it matter? I wanted unknown and I got it.
#3 was released last Friday (1st May) and is available through Bandcamp at www.shiver3.com along with two earlier #releases. Go digital for four pounds or show more appreciation to receive a very limited run cd into the bargain. While you're online trying the music - look up Chris Sharkey's website chrissharkeymusic.com. A genuinely inspiring man.