Marbin Music 2015
Marrying extremes, expanded duo streamline their rock experience and mine a vein of tune.
Dani Rabin and Danny Markovitch may weave a nice yarn on how they stumbled upon the title of MARBIN’s fourth studio album, but the genuine brilliance of this oxymoron is in the music it so perfectly describes. Having reined in – to a reasonable degree, if there is one – the band’s fusion narrative and added a stable rhythm section to ground an improv flight, the pair reach out for roots of what they’ve been playing all along, with frontal fierceness set against spiritual serenity. That’s why the silence-cutting swamp sound of “Intro” arrives as the third piece here, leaving it to opener “Just Music” to stress there’s nothing equivocal about the quartet’s new approach.
It’s riveting to hear Markovitch’s sax glide over Rabin’s wah-wah-wash before their taut dance breaks into delicate blues where guitars wail and waltz, while the heavy, if spaced-out and sometimes speedy, spank-funk of “Y’All Are Good” bears a brazen confirmation of quality time being had. More so, the reflection which filled "Last Chapter Of Dreaming " is now sent to the sweet retro-futuristic reaches of “Morning Star” and the freeform of the group’s live set has turned into neat shapes like the ones that “O’l Neckin'” shakes and stirs. Thus, for all its Middle-to-Far Eastern moves and buzzy groove, “African Shabtay” keeps a clean face and doesn’t stray too far in the wilderness, allowing the band embrace an almost pop idiom, although rock ‘n roll rears its head in the midst of the swirl, just as it does in the title track’s heady rumble.
Still, the otherwise sharp “Juke Joint” reveals a nostalgically romantic edge echoed in “Jambo” – only to be sawed and chopped with metallic twang and throb, as the tempo briefly bares a disco discipline: harmless and menacing in the aggressive hippie way. It was worth taking this trip with MARBIN to land on such a delight.