Polar Bear: Same as You | Album Review

Same as You
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Artist: Polar Bear
Genre: Jazz
Label: The Leaf Label

It’s just over 10 years since drummer Seb Rochford and his genre-defying Polar Bear emerged and proved it’s possible to find an audience for “difficult” experimental music beyond the jazz ghetto.

In the intervening decade, genre defiance has become the norm, but Polar Bear are still a unique proposition.

Same As You is accessible and warm, mixing dubstep and hip-hop beats with a free jazz aesthetic and generous helpings of old-fashioned peace and love. Electronic artist Leafcutter John and US producer Ken Barrientos expertly channel Rochford's hypnotic grooves.

Saxophonists Pete Wareham and Mark Lockheart eschew pyrotechnics in favour of plangent wailing, giving the album a shamanic aura that will, once again, endear Polar Bear to an open-minded audience.

Cormac Larkin

Cormac Larkin

Cormac Larkin, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a musician, writer and director