Aerie: Sonic review – electro-minimalism and noise rock meets krautrock
German-Swiss saxophonist Ingo Hipp’s quintet – named for the nest of a large bird of prey – flies past whatever boundaries a contemporary European jazz group might be expected to observe.
The core of Aerie’s sound on Sonic, their second album in five years, may be the muscular grooves and rhythmic adventure of the odd meter generation, inspired by Steve Coleman, Tim Berne and Ronan Guilfoyle, but it’s a big, generous sound world with elements of electro-minimalism and noise rock, touches of free improv and krautrock, traces of folk and ethnic music, and even some of the wispiness and longing of Scandinavian jazz.
They’re a trans-national bunch too, with Swiss guitarist Laurent Méteau, German bassist David Helm and Irish drummer Matthew Jacobson laying down taut grooves that duck and dive in pleasingly unexpected directions, while Irish saxophonist Sam Comerford and the leader alternate between soulful melodic flights and extra layers of rhythm.
Projects like this usually come and go in jazz, so Hipp’s real achievement here is in keeping his talented band together for more than one outing, and writing some gorgeous music that artfully exploits the proclivities of its members.