Now, two years after, they return with their second release – Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Haywain” inspired work which seriously differs from their debut. Dark and pessimistic as Northern European painter’s art, Hashima’s music is low-tempo and liquid, but contains lot of internal energy and sharpness. Closest example are Finnish Black Motor playing avant-garde jazz like if they were blues-rooted heavy metal power trio. Still Hashima music’s roots are quite different and on “The Haywain” they sound more like unusual post-rock quartet with double bassist and tenor sax player on board playing avant-garde jazz.
The opener (and longest album’s song) “Dance No.3” is a true bomb. Spiced with Portuguese rising star Susana Santos Silva trumpet vibrato soling (which surprisingly adds more Balkan feel to music then rest of the band) it blows your minds away. Everyone familiar with Nordic project “Angles” music can think about “Dance No.3” as minimalist “Angles'” hit with better controlled emotional coloring, like walking on the edge but never crossing the danger border.(Susana Santos Silva’s fans have possibility to see her as part of probably best European progressive big band Fire! Orchestra just a few month ago; Angles and Fire! Orchestra both have some same musicians on board).
Rest of the album is played by quartet themselves and without free trumpet solos they become even slower,darker and more…chamber. Similarly as on their debut, music here develops as on rock and not a jazz album. Songs all are perfectly composed and precisely played/recorded, just rhythm/melody changes right in the middle of any composition without even a trace of preparation for such a change moves all music somewhere towards modern avant-garde field. Still, all components are such melodic and never too long-lasting, that quite complex music in whole sounds as good contemporary avant-rock album (think Kayo Dot) rather than the avant-garde jazz one.
There even are a shredding guitar sounds and thunder-like drums dueling with tenor sax, and whole album lasts just forty minutes – as good rock album from the times when good rock albums still existed (and we all know that it was such times when music has been released on vinyl since CDs were just something from futurologists dreams). Guys don’t try to demonstrate technical abilities or speed at all, music sounds quite simple (but is far not so simple!), but at the end of the day I felt like I’m back in 70s and just listened to my another new great rock album.
Is jazz a new rock in 2017? I am not sure but I can seriously recommend “The Haywain” to open ears progressive rock fans unsuccessfully trying to find a new King Crimson during last two or three decades.
Not really a jazz album (from jazz purists point of view), this is the music I listened again and again last few days and one of the biggest discovery of last years. Balkans’ jazz has their heroes from now.
P.S. And – I imagine that Hashima and Susana Santos Silva’s whole common album could be a great thing as well!