Polar Bear – 'In Each and Every One' album review

The avant-jazz masters return with an exhausting but dazzlingly good fifth album

0

Comments

Add +

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5


Jazz, post-jazz, punk, hip hop, experimental rock, funk, contemporary classical – London-based outfit Polar Bear continue to display a mindboggling range of sources on their fifth album ‘In Each and Every One’.

The Mercury-nominated ensemble have forged a reputation for being one of the most exciting groups on the scene, and the last decade has seen them continually push boundaries to remain at the forefront of jazz and improvised music. The band’s impressive line-up – Mark Lockheart and Pete Wareham on tenor sax, bassist Tom Herbert and electronic master Leafcutter John, all led by mega-haired drummer Seb Rochford – also represents the nucleus of a whole host of other exciting jazz crossover projects including Acoustic Ladyland, Sons Of Kemet and Wareham’s brilliant Melt Yourself Down.

‘In Each and Every One’, the long-awaited follow-up to Polar Bear’s excellent 2010 album ‘Peepers’, is an expansive record that covers the whole dynamic spectrum from delicate ambience to high-octane fuzz. For the first time, drummer Rochford has produced and mixed the entire album, emphasising rhythmic drive and space with pushing bass grooves, enthralling horn lines and propelling electronics.

Album highlight ‘Be Free’ is quintessential Polar Bear, and among their best work so far: saxophone motifs punctuate the grooving electronic beats whilst Rochford’s percussion rounds out the sound. Two-part suite ‘Lost in Death’ is also excellent, a pair of beautiful compositions that allows melodic sax lines to take centre stage.

Darker and more all-encompassing is ‘Life and Life’, which builds to an ear-splitting climax, while album closer ‘Sometimes’ is an effortlessly atmospheric track that travels through yet more ambient spaces, punctuated with machine beats and laced through with Rochford’s distinctive rhythms.

Although at times the sheer range of ‘In Each and Every One’ can make it an exhausting listen, the marvellous technical skill of the musicians – let alone the deep, sweaty grunge grooves, the excellent use of space and the unassuming cool that permeates throughout – makes it well worth the effort. A formidable addition to an already impressive legacy.


What do you think of ‘In Each and Every One’? Let us know in the comments box below or tweet us at @TimeOutMusic.

Buy this album on Amazon  |  Buy this album on iTunes

Listen to Polar Bear on Spotify


Watch the video for 'Be Free'

Users say

0 comments

See Polar Bear live in London

Human Beamings

  • Critics choice

Performing as part of the Southbank’s Groove Baby series, where parents and

  1. Southbank Centre Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX
  2. Fri Jun 12
More info

Read more music features

Hudson Mohawke on happy hardcore, tattie scones and Kanye

Five things you need to know about the genre-blurring Glaswegian producer

Festival schedule: Born & Bred

A new one-day event in east London salutes the city’s contribution to bass music. Map out your day with our guide to catching some of the top acts

Field Day 2015 stage times

Heading to the music festival in Victoria Park this weekend? Here are the full stage times for Field Day 2015

Why I love The Replacements

Eddy Frankel explains how the Minneapolis punk rockers got inside his head

Fleetwood chat: Fleetmac Wood interviews Fleetwood Mac’s Mick Fleetwood

Lisa Jelliffe is the founder of Fleetmac Wood: a club night that only plays Fleetwood Mac. Who better to interview the legendary band’s drummer?

See all Time Out music features