SENSITIVE CHAOS: Walking a Beautiful World (2018)
“Rich and creative in all aspect, this is a travel diary into sounds and tones”
1 Dreaming Helsinki Esplanadi (Walking a Beautiful World) 6:58 2 Missing Viejo 7:13
3 Jomo Jet Lag 1:14 4 Bad Ass Nairobi Land Rover 6:35 5 Rain Falls Down Like an Ocean in the Sky 8:01 6 Gift Hill Respite 1:00 7 Takeshita Street vs. the Jeepney 6:41 8 Mercado San Telmo 4:31 9 Spirits Between Bourbon and Royal 5:01 10 Hypnotica Muríca 10:22
11 Last Day Song (World Walking
Again) 5:10 12 Rain Falls Down Like an Ocean in the Sky (Radio Edit) 7:04 Subsequent Records|SR008-02
(CD 69:44) (VF) (Electronic Folk)
With time, I eventually became a true fan of Sensitive Chaos.
Nevertheless, this Jim Combs' project is at light years of the Berlin School model, even if it's essentially built around synthesizers and beat-boxes. Mixed adequately to more conventional instruments, such as guitars and bass, and to acoustic instruments such as trumpet, harmonica, saxophone and violin, this electronic music reaches another level which becomes even more surprising when the targeted styles go from Jazz to Folk with a touch of American Southwest's spirit. In fact, it's the very eclectic side of the Pacific School model but with a more cheerful vision and where some essences of Robert Rich and Forrest Fang drag melancholy and creativity beyond what one could imagine. WALKING A BEAUTIFUL WORLD is a 9th album and especially a diary travel in sounds and tones that Jim Combs made around the globe these last years. Inspired by meetings with people of Finland and Europe, as well as from South America, from Africa, Asia and finally from his home in the region of Atlanta, the sound troubadour with thousand ideas returns with an album as surprising as his long journey. And his immense bunch of guest artists gives as many colors as emotivism to a superb immensely musical album.
This tone so crystalline of Sensitive Chaos slits the silence with hesitating arpeggios which connect to another keyboard and to a suspended rivulet of electronic arpeggios which glitters adrift. The electronic envelope spreads its influence made of charms and surprises to percussions of which the acoustic gallops run to support the Chinese harmonies of Josie Quick's violin. Light and lively, Dreaming Helsinki Esplanadi (Walking a Beautiful World) proposes the work of three synthesists (Jim Combs, Tony Gerber and Otso Pakarinen) who court, by presenting miscellaneous tones of wind instruments, a violin which knows skillfully how to measure its emotions. Missing Viejo is a first crush here with a rhythm structured well on a good work of percussions. The electronic and acoustic ingredients melt themselves in a very musical sound mass where Dave Coustan's trumpet does very Mark Isham. We stamp of the foot, the bass is also very good, and we enjoy this meshing of electronic and acoustic instruments which get lost in our imagination. Is it a synth? A saxophone? A violin? All living with a symbiosis of the most melodious. The electronic effects of Jomo Jet Lag throw themselves into Bad Ass Nairobi Land Rover and whose ambiospherical road goes slowly towards a fascinating and very bucolic Southern Rock. Each album of Sensitive Chaos possesses its pearl. Rain Falls Down Like an Ocean in the Sky is the one of WALKING A BEAUTIFUL WORLD. A wonderful ballad in a musical texture full of new developments, at the level emotion, where all the instruments converge on an ear-catchy, because of its intensity, electronic Folk.
Gift Hill Respite proposes a very ethereal introduction to Takeshita Street vs. the Jeepney. And running away from a sound romance gone up on a bed of carillons, this title proposes a spasmodic structure forged with rhythmic arpeggios and with percussions sometimes sober and sometimes livened up by a desire to blow up a rhythmic proposal which increases its depth with Ryan Taylor's good bass. His guitar also scatters its musing, more present than the discreet violin, on this tight meshing which flows like a rivulet of clanic trance. A convincing and very catchy surprise! Mercado San Telmo is another cheerful hymn where a street of New Orleans gets embellish of festive music. The violin and Brian Good's soprano saxophone have a great time on a purely electronic structure where the chords and the riffs of synth play with our sense of hearing like the uncertain steps of a cat a little bit drunk. Spirits Between Bourbon and Royal is a surprising title which reminds us in of a good Beck. The mixture of Funk and Folk, with riffs of rather cosmic guitar, shines here with a sound aestheticism as complex as very catchy. The bass is more vicious than the collection of jerky riffs of the guitar. Hypnotica Muríca is a strange title, a little like a music without identity, which could be as well produced by Beck or by Brian Eno in Nerve Net. The music is rich and the tonal aestheticism make a good menu for my Tribe Tower. Funk and Southern Rock, with an approach of collective joy, the rhythm skips with the cawings of a bass and a series of very acid riffs which forge a jerky and bipolar tempo. Voices of a man and of a girl decorate a panorama very near a psychedelic without borders with sound effects which abound around the violin which crumbles some American patriotic airs and a very rock guitar of the former 70's. On a structure of circular rhythm which hops up and down with hundreds of crazy steps, and which gets back constantly, Last Day Song (World Walking Again) offers a melodious ritornello with a very creative synth at the level of its choice of flute. It's Sensitive Chaos at its purest level with an approach of minimalist tornado which swallows all the sounds on its passage. When I told you that Rain Falls Down Like an Ocean in the Sky is the pearl of this album …The gang of Jim Combs even made a radio edit version. A way as another one to hear this wonderful title twice rather than one and which is taken from a WALKING A BEAUTIFUL WORLD rich and creative at every level. A top notch album my dear Jim!