I am still to work out entirely what IRèNE are about… and I can’t quite remember how I stumbled across them in this big old mess we call the Internet. But I do know I ended up on their label’s Soundcloud listening to their track Gant (below) and being rather excited.
Here’s a band, from France, made up of half saxophones (their line up is listed as drums, guitar, sax, and sax & electronics, in addition to a sound engineer), yet this track seems to deny the presence of sax entirely till a healthy 1’18” in. And when the sax does arrive, it is certainly no jazz fest. Single notes, as confident and simple as a metal guitar’s crunch… The track is a simple, 5 minute instrumental progger, as much jam-band style rock as anything jazz. Certainly no improvisation in sight, though.
As it happens, their album Nek has only just been released (October 2012) on Carton Records. And based on Gant, I promptly bought it. I wouldn’t say Gant is a typical track, but the raw simplicity of it is to be found to good effect through this album, although a little more experimental, maybe even improvised, in other parts.