“Ambitious yet unpretentious, tight, catchy but also fearlessly exploratory and experimental.”
Tobias Klein – alto saxophone, artistic direction
Bart Maris – trumpet
John Dikeman – tenor saxophone
Jasper Stadhouders – guitar
Gonçalo Almeida – bass
Philipp Moser – drums
photos by Geschmacksrichtung Grün
photo by Cees van de Ven
Previewing the Spinifex appearance at the 3 Tage Jazz Festival Saalfelden in January 2023, SKUG.AT wrote: “This exceptional band promises to be a highlight, giving Free Jazz a new face by pushing it to new limits and interpreting it anew.”
The new album SPINIFEX SINGS (feat. vocalists Priya Purushothaman and Björk Níelsdóttir) is out on Trytone and available on bandcamp as well as on digital platforms, presented during a short tour in the Netherlands. The album has already received a lot of very positive press:
“…what an energetic life-affirming mix of flavours it is… If there’s one release by Spinifex that should be heard worldwide, this should be it.” Vital Weekly
Best of 2022, categories best international album and best live concert. Gonçalo Falcao, jazz.pt
“Just absolutely great.” Best of 2022, Audiovisual Ohlsen Overkill
“Spinifex Sings is an intense and profound musical adventure by the always exciting Spinifex… will reward minds and ears that seek discovery.” Best of 2022, albums Antonio Branco, jazz.pt
“… Spinifex might just be Europe’s most exciting and adventurous jazzrock band… breathtaking from the first note to the last.” Holly Moors, moorsmagazine
“[a band] that keeps reinventing itself … crossing boundaries … “ Ben Taffijn, Nieuwe Noten
Best of 2022 Bad Alchemy, Rigobert Dittmann
In March 2022, Spinifex presented SPINIFEX SINGS, featuring Priya Purushothaman (from the US, based in Mumbai) and Icelandic singer Björk Nielsdottir. After the premiere at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam, the ensemble performed in Lokeren and Oostende (BE).
In June they played the Moers Festival, followed by a tour in Portugal and the cd recording at Studio Namouche in Lisbon.
funding by Fonds Podiumkunsten, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and BNG Cultuurfonds.
The May/June edition of Dutch language print magazine Gonzo|Circus features a 4-page article about Spinifex by renowned journalist Peter Bruyn, photos by Michel Mees. “In an ideal world, Spinifex would have been world famous a long time ago… musically, they seem to be capable of anything. Anything!”
SPINIFEX SINGS features in one of Martin Longley’s Moers Festival interviews on allaboutjazz.
“Spinifex will make an extremely welcome return to the Moers Festival in early June 2022. This heavily international group specializes in a collective meshing, combining the precision of composed themes with ample leeway for crashing over the barriers, splattering down onto a grassy field of wild improvisatory freedom. Heavy activity over a decade’s span makes this stance so staunch with experience that any perversions of the agreed form can be confidently executed in the knowledge that Spinifex always knows where the next cooperative contusion will appear.”
Here’s a video from the premiere of Spinifex Sings at the Bimhuis:
The 2021 CD Spinifex Beats The Plague, available at Trytone and Bandcamp, has been receiving very good press. Spinifex toured in April and May 2022 in Czech Republic, Austria, Germany and Belgium.
“Spinifex is a free-spirited band of musicians who embrace free jazz in the very best way … a brilliant record from some of the freest improvisers from the Be-Ne-Lux countries… a band you just have to listen to at a concert. Delicious!” (Jan Granlie, Salt Peanuts)
“Here, as with the band’s last few discs, the composing and musicianship is hitting on all cylinders.” ****(Mark Corroto, Allaboutjazz)
”… delicious breathtakers, non-idiomatic, nervous entanglements, minimalist rates of varying intensity, the rising dynamics of ruthless flow. Their music really beats the plague… Amazing musical energy !!!” ***** (Jan Hocek, jazzport.cz)
“…the genre-crossing, multi-aesthetic Spinifex recorded the most dynamic, not to say aggressive album in its already quite long history.” (Andrzej Nowak, Spontaneous Music Tribune)
“…the immediacy of punk but with the elongated melodies of jazz… This is punk-jazz at its best! … Play loud. Play often.” (Vital Weekly)
The album consists of 9 tunes, among which a cover of a Madurai N. Krishnan piece, a composition by Bart Maris inspired by burning airships, two miniatures by Goncalo Almeida chasing out the pest demons, and an epic by Jasper Stadhouders.
The four remaining pieces are compositions by Tobias Klein, one of them a homage to Selim Sesler and another dedicated to Mohammad Reza Shajarian. The tune Zoowiezoo celebrates a memorable night at the Berlin venue Sowieso, while Four20 is not really a reference to the herb but alludes to its theme’s 420 notes. The album was recorded by Olivier van Betsbrugge, mixed and mastered by the legendary Pierre Vervloesem, with artwork by Gonçalo Almeida. Funding by Sena Muziekproductiefonds.
Here’s a video from our recent performance at Belgrade Jazz Festival, 28 October 2021:
Previous projects: SPINIFEX SOUFIFEX
In 2017, Spinifex adapted two pieces and recorded them for the CD ‘Amphibian Ardour’: a Sufi traditional of Kurdish/Iranian origin, and a Qawali traditional from Pakistan. We liked this music so much that we decided to create a whole project, SOUFIFEX, dedicated to music inspired by Sufi traditions. Deeply rooted in our musical approach of combining cutting-edge composed structures with free improvisation, Spinifex dived into the magic of ritually repeated patterns and concentration on the beat.
The SOUFIFEX première took place at the Moers Festival in May 2018, and we also performed it in the Netherlands and Czech Republic. The Belgian music journalist Guy Peters called it one of the highlights of the Moers Festival and wrote on enola.be: “… a band of extreme contrasts which moves freely at one moment, only to abruptly and mercilessly strike with ultratight interplay the next moment…”
Georges Tonla Briquet wrote on jazzenzo: “… speedy noise-jazz with punk attidude played with razor-sharp accuracy … no volume for volume’s sake but a compact formula, meticulously mapped out according to the comprehensively thought through Spinifex procdure …”
Also available at Bandcamp.
The 2017 CD ‘Amphibian Ardour’ is available at www.trytone.org, Bandcamp and Apple Music
It had been receiving great reviews:
“…only working bands as Spinifex can reach such high and tight levels of communication and sonic scope…” Eyal Hareuveni, Salt-Peanuts.eu
“Spinifex continues to be one of the most interesting musical proposals that have appeared in recent times…” Rui Eduardo Paes, jazz.pt, 4,5 of 5*
“Dat globalistische karakter van de groep komt ook tot uiting in de muziek; nog sterker dan voorheen is hun vrije jazzopvatting gekleurd door klanken met een Iraanse en Pakistaanse oorsprong … de muziek die de groep hier presenteert: ongebonden, vrij, wars van grenzen en geborneerde opvattingen.”Coen de Jonge, Jazzism, 4* of 5*
“Still one of the most surprising bands in the Netherlands…” Ben Taffijn, Draai om je Oren
“One of the nicest jazz records of the year” Opduvel
Amphibian Ardour is the fifth Spinifex studio CD, and the first one with tenor saxophonist John Dikeman. The album also features Flemish master trumpeter Bart Maris, who had already been part of Spinifex Maximus in 2015.
Amphibian Ardour includes compositions by alto saxophonist Tobias Klein and bassist Gonçalo Almeida, as well as music from Iranian and Pakistani Sufi traditions. It was recorded at Namouche Studio in Lisbon and beautifully mixed and mastered by Spinifex drummer Philipp Moser.
Soon also on i-tunes and other digital channels. Thanks to Sena Muziekproductiefonds for funding.
Bart Maris – trumpet, Tobias Klein – alto saxophone, John Dikeman – tenor saxophone, Jasper Stadhouders – guitar, Gonçalo Almeida – bass guitar, Philipp Moser – drums
“What’s exciting—and impressive—about Spinifex’s music is the way the group manages to absorb and synthesize a variety of influences (jazz, punk, metal, Indian, etc.) and then produce something greater than a simple grab-bag of styles. A parallel feat, they’re also able to foreground technical mastery via incredibly tight, complex structures and at the same time leave room for freer play and discovery. If you haven’t heard Spinifex yet, now is the perfect time to dive in.” (Eric McDowell, Free Jazz Collective)
Here is a video of our concert at Pardubice, Czech Republic in september 2016: