Instrumental (adj.) return with ‘Reductio ad Absurdum’, the follow up to their acclaimed 2015 debut ‘A Series Of Disagreements’.
The trio remains one of the most innovative and engaging heavy instrumental acts in the world, combining unrivalled polyrhythmic precision and masterful melodic manipulations with a creative and heavily conceptual approach to composition.
Instrumental (adj.) draw from masters across the board – from Robert Fripp and Bill Frisell in the guitar playing, Mark Guiliana and Billy Rymer of The Dillinger Escape Plan in the approach to drums, and Thundercat in bass guitar.
The album title ‘Reductio ad Absurdum’, refers to the group’s approach to composition: a reduction to absurdity. Each song opens with a first and second movement. The first movement sets an invariably ridiculous tone, and the second movement follows suit, pushing the elements of its predecessor into absolute absurdity. They refer to this approach as “a musical argument”, which seems fitting.
Guitarist Simon Dawes explains the three tracks as follows:
- Yours is an exploration of rhythm in 13/16 and progressive right handed tapping techniques utilised by guitarists the likes of Josh Martin (Little Tybee), Animals As Leaders, Chon and co.
The title comes from “terah”, the word which both “thirteen” and “yours” translate to in Hindi. The song was completed not long after “A Series Of Disagreements” was released and was tremendously influenced by our sense of gratitude for the unexpectedly positive response such a difficult and deliberately ugly EP had received.
Yours became our expression of this gratitude and was completed with love for a niche, and greatly appreciated, audience in mind.
- Reductio ad Absurdum takes our rhythmic permutation tropes and extends them to encompass melody.
Of the several themes which make up this piece the core concepts are the regurgitation of a melodic phrase through varying six-note modes/scales, and the juxtaposition of a recurring melody over major, minor and augmented chord movements in constantly-shifting key signatures.
The call and response between instruments, with these motifs spat back and forth between guitar and bass, as well as their unexpectedly harmonious yet contradictory independence, add to the notion of a musical argument taking place. This comes from having both guitar and bass hijack each other’s parts in a fight for dominance, rather than receiving space for their own signature theme as per a film or opera.
- Panopticon sees one melodic and rhythmic sequence dictate the musical direction of all other parts of the composition, whilst never being revealed.
The hidden motif having influence over every aspect of the song directly refers to Bentham’s architectural design from which the title of song is derived, wherein an observer is granted a vantage point inside a building (typically a prison, hospital or library), from which they can view/control all aspects of its interior, generally regarded as the first areligious step toward mind control through perceived surveillance.
Acting as “the observer” in Bentham’s panopticon design, the central motif of Panopticon is modulated, reharmonised, inverted, reversed, lent to extended chord progressions and filtered into various rhythms across guitar, bass and drums to create a medley to which we intend to deliver sequels over the coming years.
This might give you a sense of the highly technical and conceptual approach to songwriting that Instrumental (adj.) employ.
The sound has expanded beyond that of the debut, showcasing a wider palette of textural and stylistic influences, alongside the excellent production work of Simon Grove.
With two members of the band now playing for acclaimed progressive guitarist Plinion his upcoming world tour, the new EP comes at the perfect time for the band.
Instrumental (adj.)’s ‘Reductio ad Absurdum’ is a hugely impressive addition to the world of intelligent and thoughtful progressive metal. With this EP, the band takes their place alongside names like Animals As Leaders, Car Bomb, King Crimson and Blotted Science.
Instrumental (adj.) perform at:
- 24 March 2018 at NICEFEST Brisbane, Crowbar
- 7 April 2017 at NICEFEST Sydney, Lazybones Lounge
Grab the album HERE!