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Roadside Picnic; Jack Monkey; The Cut; Ignition; The Clock Of The Long Now; Zen; Orbits; Ursa Minor; Ursa Major; Sulphur City Rendezvous; Fog Circle
Sam Dunn: guitars; Jamie Taylor: guitars; Riley Stone-Lonergan: tenor saxophone; Ben Lowman: tenor saxophone and bass clarinet; Garry Jackson: bass; Steve Hanley: drums
"Ignition" is a concept album arranged around the theme of infinite cycles of time. Recurring throughout, the idea appears as much in Dale Harrop's beautiful Escher/DaVinci-inspired cover illustration, as it does in the field recording of the late Dorset stonemason 'Skylark' Durston reading his own poetry on the closing track, "Fog Circle". Unusually, the record is only half comprised of original pieces by band members, the other half being group improvisations performed in the studio, and directed by the highly-regarded Leeds producer Sam Hobbs (Bonobo, Dave Stapleton, Matthew Bourne, Roller Trio). Indeed, Hobbs’ contribution to “Ignition” is really that of a seventh band member, in a role perhaps closer to Brian Eno than Rudy Van Gelder. Nevertheless, the live essence of PMM is retained - the lineup of twin guitars and twin tenor saxophones ensures that any listener with a good pair of headphones is literally surrounded as Sam Dunn's intricate post-bop lines in one channel contrast with Jamie Taylor’s wailing Gibson SG in the other. Saxophonists Riley Stone-Lonergan and Ben Lowman cover similarly wide-ranging territory, the former as exquisite on the ballad "Orbits" as he is ferocious on "The Cut"; the latter delivering deep-in-the-pocket funk on the title track, deft counter melody on his own "Fog Circle", and sinister bass clarinet on the improvised "Sulphur City Rendezvous". Meanwhile, bassist Garry Jackson and drummer Steve Hanley not only underpin with powerful, febrile grooves, but feature prominently as solo voices and composers. Jackson takes the melodic lead on "The Cut" and "Ursa Minor", also contributing the quirky "Zen" as a lithe sax/bass/drums trio feature. Meanwhile, at the centre of the album, Steve Hanley's beautiful "Orbits" makes the calm, stately progress of a generation ship through deep space.