Mark de Clive-Lowe – CHURCH (Album Review)

Fusion? Experimental? Mark de Clive-Lowe dropped his latest project yesterday, entitled CHURCH. There is as much room for interpretation as any album I have ever heard. Anyone familiar with MDCL will know that the man has a way with rhythm that not many possess. Naturally, one constant throughout the album is the astoundingly detailed and strong percussion work. This is not to say that everything else on this album is subdued, but personally I always find myself drawn to the beat. That is something that is unique about this album though, it has something for everyone. It is rich in almost every style and sound. The horn work is there, the strings are there, there is even an electronic/dubstep type track for the younger audience. CHURCH was a bit overwhelming for me at first since I was listening to it while in the car. Overwhelming in the sense that a lot of little nuances went unnoticed. Like how the track Ghaziya has a NASTY bass line, how the Processional has an awesome TRON-esque synth sound, and how Sun Up, Sun Down is some insane amalgamation of jazz fusion, house, and hip hop. The one broad paint stroke that flows through the album is MDCL’s jazz background. It is everywhere, you will get notes of Sun Ra, Weather Report, and Pharoah Sanders… that is if you know what you are listening for. Those who are checking for MDCL regularly will absolutely appreciate this “tour de force”. Front to back the album is an autobiography of Mark’s fantastic career thus far. If you are a student of music and you want to hear how it is done from one of the best to ever do it, I highly recommend you pick this album up today!

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