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Published: 2003/10/29
by Jamie Lee

Kinetic Transfer- Infradig


It's easy to get lost in the mire that is modern improvisational music,
just as Infradig once did. Back in 1998, the Chattanooga, Tennessee quartet
took to the populated course of jam-driven funk and jazz and lost their way,
or so they claim. But upon the release of their newest album, Kinetic
Transfer, the band acknowledged that they had found their way into their
musical world; one that swirls with the true spirit of funk while grabbing
the progressive approach of electronic music.

What they have truly done is taken those funk and jazz influences that
they coveted in the early days, and applied an electronic sensibility. In
that realm of music where DJs spin ambient textures of sound, musical
foundations are created, built upon, and torn apart. Random noises appear,
disappear, then reappear within the swirling musical structure where popping
breakbeats often control the ebb and flow of the music, propelling even the
simplest of melodies in both tempo and time.

On Kinetic Transfer, drummer Josh Green, guitarist Andrew Hobbs,
bassist Dave
Hoffman, and keyboardist Carl Caldwell have concentrated on the
element of integration. Over the course of the album, they play across a
suspended tightwire of sound, walking over a flurry of atmospheres from
beatbox breaks to groove-laden glides. Their compositions are ultimately
controlled by Green, whose smooth transitions from double-time drumming to
sparse back beats bring the instrumental compositions to pinnacles, before
rooting them back to their base formations. The sonic textures on
Transfer push forward with a sense of ease, yet the layers of sound are
deep, risky, and propelled by cyclical reinvention with each track.

Kinetic Transfer flows with superior ease, yet each song differs from
next, uncovering a sense of one-upmanship. "Maroon Mood" opens up the disc
with a thick bass thump that is layered with rippling guitar and topped with
an infectious organ melody. Once all of the pieces are interlocked, the
instrumentation quickly dives into a sonic maelstrom before
pulling back into the tune's glove-tight groove. "The Dare" soars with an
ambient pulse set above the Green's rapid-fire drumming, and he powers
through segments while the instrumentation builds toward a climax, laying
out a wiry guitar theme that appears, then disappears into the shady back
beat where a bass and drum thump slide below crying guitar and a
well-orchestrated keyboard theme.

Before serving up the final tune of the album, Infradig gives a nod to
their funk roots with "Groove vs. The Ill," a bouncing, bottom-dropping romp
that owes as much to a New Orleans juke joint as a 21st century dancehall.
But, despite its sound, the musicians convincingly utilize their newfound
tools and create a separate voice for each instrument and player. They stack
their fills on top of one other riff by riff, sewing together a layered
tapestry of sound that is capable of forging into unknown territory with
the slightest alteration of melody.

Infradig has definitely made a statement with Kinetic Transfer.
While they
haven't strayed too far form their early funk/jazz course, they have opened
their minds to the methodology that electronic pioneers continue to master.
In doing so, their flow can leap and dip at a minute's notice, and the
atmospheres they produce – whether jazz influenced or filled with electronic
dissonance – are many. Their thick sounds completely soak through these
seven tracks, taking the listener on a multifaceted, ride in just over 35

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