"Betwixt” C44
(Dark Circles Records)

Kevin and Hell, like any jazz musician/band, has existed in many forms, from solo guitar (& backing tracks) to multi-horned output (or “Zorchestra”, which is how they play live, presently). This recording, however, save some rad drumming and the opening track’s shredding saxomophone duet, is without any instrumentation at all other than K&H’s guitar, sporadic vocals, and oodles & oodles of pitch-shifty synthesizer arrangements, these layers and layers of keyboard licks oft-times mimicking traditional instrumentation, while others utilizing some pretty novel timbres that lend a cosmic vibe to the mix. The singing is kinda punk in its nasally, nonchalant delivery of nonconventional lyrical themes, and, again, the chemistry of the drummer with K&H (or IS he the H?) is seriously dialed in and exemplary.

I’m not a big fan of jazz music in general (I know, I’m an asshole), but I definitely appreciated the richly arranged pass-the-baton synth riffs that break from their counterpoint into a surprising harmony, and then back again, throughout the album. If you like old-timey/swingy jazz, with an extra dose of weird thrown in, this album ought to satisfy you.

 --Jacob An Kittenplan