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Machine Mass: Machine Mass Plays Hendrix (MoonJune Records)

Aug. 8, 2017
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To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s first album, Are You Experienced, the instrumental trio Machine Mass pays homage with an unorthodox 60-minute live-in-the-studio session reworking some of the legendary guitarist’s lesser-known tracks. No “All Along the Watchtower,” “Manic Depression” or “Hey Joe” here. Instead, multi-instrumentalist Michel Delville, keyboardist Antoine Guenet and drummer Tony Bianco offer fresh interpretations of (mostly) deeper tracks, with no overdubs and minimal editing. “Burning the Midnight Lamp” features a lovely piano replacing Hendrix’s ax, and a slower tempo reveals a whole new aura. “Little Wing,” meanwhile, sounds like something you’d hear on Spotify’s “Chill Vibes” playlist, and a sublime version of “The Wind Cries Mary,” anchored by a subtle spoken-word passage and an epic organ-injected groove, closes the album. Here’s hoping for more unapologetically unconventional shape-shifting Hendrix experimentation. 

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