Album review

Anteloper – ‘Pink Dolphins’ 

Anteloper – Pink Dolphins 
(International Anthem. Album review by Tony Dudley-Evans)

Anteloper is the duo of trumpeter Jaimie Branch and drummer Jason Nazary; both also make extensive use of electronics. The name Anteloper is a combination of antelope and interloper and, according to Branch, indicates a being that is shunned and people don’t want around. Certainly their music is very much ‘in your face’, even aggressive, but it is also exciting, full of interest and an excellent example of how to combine jazz and electronics.

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The album title, Pink Dolphins, is linked to Branch’s Colombian heritage through her mother; apparently pink dolphins live in the Amazon and survive in very different waters, and again Branch regards this as reflecting the duo’s music.

The opening track, Inia, launches into an electronic soundscape accompanied by a staccato pattern on the drums, then about halfway through the 4min+ track Branch enters with a great blast on the trumpet accompanied by a more varied attack on the drums. It builds up to a climax on electronics, and overall has a high energy, almost punk feel.

Branch plays trumpet throughout Delfin Rosado (pink dolphin in Spanish); this is another high octane track, but there is something of a different energy from that of Inia, more that of Miles Davis’ Live Evil, an album Branch has a great liking for. 

Earthlings features Branch on vocals, apparently for the first time in the context of the Anteloper duo. The track is brilliantly produced by Jeff Parker to create a powerful soundscape adding to the bluesy vocal overdubs of atmospheric trumpet, a touch of Kenny Burrell style guitar playing from Parker himself, and great drumming from Nazary.

Baby Bota Halloceanation is more of a duet between trumpet and drums with the electronics in the background. As the track develops, the focus is increasingly on Nazary’s inventive drum patterns. 

One Living Genus is a gig-length track at 14.50 mins; it’s a more mellow piece starting with electronics and drums before moving into more of a groove with muted trumpet and a contribution from Parker’s guitar over the electronic base; for the final third of the track, Branch’s gritty trumpet plays over a kind of electronic drone.

The album notes talk of Anteloper’s music being ‘loud, direct, impatient and impolite’. This fits quite well… so long as the listener is happy to buy in to the idea that all of those are positives.  

LINK: Pink Dolphins on Bandcamp

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