Jagwar Ma, the Australian alternative group featuring the talents of Gabriel Winterfield, Jono Ma and Jack Freeman, release their second studio album Every Now & Then in 2016. In it, they push the boundaries of fusion music in a sonic exploration.
Every Now & Then will take you unexpected places, a leap forward from the relative safety of their debut release Howlin’. It is a risk to direct their music into the realms of experimental fusion as it becomes more niche, but Jagwar Ma have approached it with finesse making sense of all the new sounds for their audience.
Say What You Feel is an evolving piece. You wouldn’t recognise the start by the end, but the music plays out seamlessly, you just go with the flow. OB1, the first single lifted off the album, has a bass line reminiscent of Prodigy and an alternative/indie guitar driven break in the style of Blur, but with Jagwar Ma’s 21st century twist. Slipping has got to be a personal favourite, drawing on the style of Radiohead’s Kid A album in the more subdued electronica sections. The melody sung by Winterfield meanders through the soundscape in such an enticing way, you follow it as it draws you in. The gritty bass in High Rotations is attention grabbing for sure. This has got to be the most experimental track out of the eleven. The vocal melody has escaped the limits of western music, they try all sorts with the texture, timbre and production, and the rhythm sounds ‘out there’ as they use polyrhythms. The mesmerising pulse of Colour Of Paradise is somehow mellow and energetic at the same time.
As the lyrics of Ordinary’s swirling chorus go, “Don’t be so ordinary”. Jagwar Ma certainly practice what they preach in Every Now & Then.