James Holden has announced his third album recorded together with his newly-expanded band, going under the name James Holden & The Animal Spirits.
The Animal Spirits will be released on November 3 via his own Border Community label. The band consists of long-time collaborators Tom Page (RocketNumberNine) and Etienne Jaumet as well as Marcus Hamblett, Liza Bec and Lascelle Gordon.
This heady blend of the electronic and the acoustic came into being during the hot and sticky summer of 2016 under the direction of fledgling band leader Holden at his Sacred Walls studio in London. In a bid to capture what he calls the unfakeable “psychic communication” of a group performance, The Animal Spirits was recorded live in one room together in single takes, no overdubs, no edits, in accordance with his own self-imposed dogma.
What has emerged out of these sessions is a genre-blending new form of universal music that feels inherently fluid and alive. Just one example of the record's wide-ranging influences, the relentless, elastic and hypnotic poly-rhythms of 'Pass Through The Fire' grew out of Holden’s 2014 trip to Morocco to work with legend of Gnawa music Maalem Mahmoud Guinia.
The first song he wrote for the band, 'Pass Through The Fire' took shape over months of pre-show dressing room practice, as Holden set about transmitting the distinctive Gnawa rhythm to drummer Page. It soon made its way into the pair's live shows, adding Jaumet's on-the-hop improvised sax contributions further down the line.
"This was where I got the idea that songs are just backbones or seeds and the strong ones teach/reveal themselves to the players rather than the other way round", Holden says.
1. Incantation For Inanimate Object
2. Spinning Dance
3. Pass Through The Fire
4. Each Moment Like The First
5. The Beginning & End Of The World
6. Thunder Moon Gathering
7. The Animal Spirits
8. The Neverending
9. Go Gladly Into The Earth