Is Canterbury Council giving grants to bands making cool, jammy, jazzy fusion music? Probably not, but if they were then Lapis Lazuli would be well worth the austerity-busting investment. Wrong Meeting’s three long pieces have an improvised feel at first, but repeated listens show some serious musical consideration given to every twist and turn.
Coming in quietly on spacey, Hawkwindy swirls, School is an ebullient blend of funky rhythms, its Grange Hill-style auto-wah’d guitar motif doubled with sax and a busy bass (a subliminal callback to Stanley Clarke’s School Days, maybe). It runs over 20 minutes but, packed with ideas, it never really falters. Moody, languorous and adorned with tonal detail, Phighyphe revisits the Eastern-exotic moments of their 2014 release Alien, but they’ve grown as musicians since then – Caravan and Ellington’s Caravan are in here somewhere, and that ska bit near the end must slay live. It’s well worth YouTubing the video for closer Reich – it gives you a taste of the dry, beardy-weirdy English humour you get with Lapis Lazuli. But there’s method in their zaniness, order in their chaos, and if you like your prog pure, crusty and in stripy trousers then step right this way.