I like the way Casey Golden’s mind works. He likes to disguise cleverness or surprise with veneers of logic or just plain beauty. You’re never thinking to yourself, “Now he’s being experimental”, or “Now he’s being lyrical”: it’s all the same river; it’s just that the banks change. The Australian pianist/composer recorded Atlas in London with guitarist Alex Munk, bassist Henrik Jensen and drummer Will Glaser: players who share his ability to iron the bumps out of changes in the music’s surface.
As Singularity evolves, for instance, they shape-shift between roles, much as might have been conceived by a fine orchestrator – and make no mistake, Golden is that as well as being an idiosyncratic composer and imaginative improviser. Singularity uses recurrent echoes of its own motifs in ways that are vaguely disquieting, and yet utterly beguiling, and meanwhile a groove ever so slowly solidifies out of a more abstract version of itself. He perversely calls the most bustling piece Still Life, while The Hobbyist is replete with apt rhythmic intricacies that are, as ever, realised so they don’t sound fussy. Munk can let rip when required, but is also content to flesh out a shared vision.