And what a band – all Hunter cohorts from many a gig, all entirely familiar with his body of work and with these particular works; and all entirely in tune with the spirit that drives this remarkable music: Andrew Gander on drums, Matt McMahon on keys and Matt Keegan on tenor and soprano.
The carefully-crafted originals on the album are a summary of the writing Clarke has done over the past twenty years, ‘Three Wishes’ dating back to 1993. ‘Busline’ was written for an unreleased ABC recording after he won the 2001 National Jazz Award at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival, while the medium-up ‘Billycart’ was written specially for the album.
‘a strange and beautiful world conjured among the bricks and grime, the litter and the 7-11 stores’
From electro-popping whimsy such as ‘Rotovibe’ – a collage of scratch-mixed ideas – to the entirely acoustic pieces such as ‘Special When Lit’ – a beautifully measured sound-river featuring his current band of Matt Penman on bass and Jochen Rueckert on drums – Slave To The Machine Vols 1&2, has an over-arching cohesion that belies the fact this music was recorded over a 5-year period, from 2007 to 2012.