Artist: Sensitive Chaos
Album: Amerisynthecana

Label: self-released
Released: 7 May 2013

Amerisynthecana Jim Combs
Using synthesizers and electronic percussion Jim Combs, recording under the name Sensitive Chaos, presents his wonderful musical vision on Amerisynthecana (59'53"). Amerisynthecana features nine tracks, and very nearly nine different approaches to making instrumental music. Much to Combs' credit this album travels through a number of styles, moods and energy levels - to such an extent that listeners may have trouble keeping up. Where Combs chooses to explore timbre and texture he leaves us suspended within iridescent, quiet sonorities. His minimalistic sequencer patterns run in fascinating mechanical repetitions as the music moves fast and slow simultaneously - resolving, then dissolving into the motion of chilly synth chords. The hotter tracks on Amerisynthecana are delightfully Prog-Influenced. Combs executes this mode with precision as these tightly arranged, fully-formed works seem quite exotic next to the more sedate mind-slowing sections. Perhaps what helps connect all this music is the agile leads produced by Brian Good on soprano saxophone. On the more upbeat compositions his wonderful playing lends weight to this otherwise ethereal affair, while on the spacey/ambient realizations Good's processed echoing reed solos contrast Combs' electro-soundscapes with an arresting acoustic element. All through the Amerisynthecana landscape Combs and Good interact with each other melodically, as well as with Tony Gerber on EWI and Christian Birk on synthesizer. The result is a diversity of very well executed music. Let us hope that fans of EM welcome this idea into their listening space - with its tight grooves, long tones and everything in between. And also hope that Combs and his outfit continue to find new wonders in their instruments, and in each other.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   5 June 2013

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