So hot off the presses that the ink is still drying on the CD, this’un, a last minute addition to FruitS de Mer’s already admirably admired back catalogue is from SEN3. There’s something of an urgency to get word out on this release, the band playing a two night residency at Ronnie Scott’s in support of Sly and Robbie had planned to sell CD versions of ‘Volume 2’ at the event. However, determined to perhaps, do something a little more special, they approached the Fruits de Mer folk in the hope of doing something on vinyl. With the tightest of deadlines to overcome, the label has managed to call in favours at such a short notice and managed to negotiate a very limited press of this quite excellent sounding set, whose numbers will be restricted to just 150 copies (75 for the Ronnie Scott event and 75 being offered to the labels club members). Described in passing as being ‘a little too jazz fused for FdM…..’, the release has found home on the labels Strange Fish sub print and follows the bands critically acclaimed ‘the Drop’ debut from 2017. Soundwise, ‘Volume 2’ reveals SEN3 as sonic shape shifters who appear adept at drawing whatever they need from a plethora of generic stables, most of which extend beyond the jazz medium, to cleverly fuse, blend and twist them anew. It’s a set that’s fashioned on the trippier and more mellowed and out there end of the Delerium catalogue of the 90’s, our copy of ‘Volume 2’ features six drift aways, each cut with svelte mastery, the brooding opener ‘Night Pay’ initially finessed as a mood setting mosaic weaved in a lights lowered sophistication, its sultry burns mellowing to a super chilled crysaline curvature soon begins to reform and shift in dynamic to bare its stripes impacting like some timeless storm calling from the East. Soaked in all manner of milky motifs and traced with a deeply hypnotic nocturnal like flavouring, the sleekly trimmed ‘the keeper’ is smoothed and smoked upon an amorphous jazz palette that’s curdled in a mind wandering array of subtle dub fusions and cosmic flotillas that collude to create a seriously trippy tapestry oodled in a breathless configuration of dissipating and dissolving riff ripples. Getting the thumbs up in the affection stakes in our gaff at least, ‘sumae’ provides for a total bliss kissed woozy, seductively spirited away in quick stepped riff picks which to these ears, aside appearing to dance like skipping stones, had us much recalling the deeply expressive and intricate needlework jubilance of the mighty Four Brothers from Zimbabwe. For those fancying their sounds a little chin stroking, perhaps noodle-y, high and very nu-jazz toned might do well to shimmy up to the clearly stoned out ‘pigeon’ while moving swiftly apace, ‘L37’ – the longest track here, is something of a dream drizzled lunar exotica replete with dub dosed tropicalic trimmings, very Astralasia it should be said, though that’ll be Astralasia seen through the viewfinder of a wasted and woozy Jah Wobble’s Invaders of the Heart. Which just leaves the aptly titled ‘end’ to round out matters, from the longest to the shortest cut here, leaving things with a nifty, though teasingly brief, spot of cosmic prog.

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