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Mike Dillon & Punkadelick

Inflorescence

Mike Dillon & Punkadelick makes its recorded debut with Inflorescence, an album of heady, instrumental rock highlighting a band deep in the throes of creative freedom, road tested and wild. Consisting of 10 tracks in 42-minutes, it’s an expansive, focused and fearless collec-tion, representing a world where Duke Ellington and Augustus Pablo rub shoulders with crate-digger exotica, the freak-funk of Parliament and the ‘anything fits’ outsider ethos of acid-fried punks like The Meat Puppets.

A trio featuring Mike Dillon (Ricki Lee Jones, Ani DiFranco, Les Claypool) on vibraphone, ma-rimba, Prophet 6, congas, and bongos, Brian Haas (Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey) on Fender Rhodes, piano, bass Moog and melodica and Nikki Glaspie (Beyonce) on drums, cymbals and vocals, Punkadelick is the unified vision of six hands creating a world that often sounds like the work of an ensemble three times the size.

During 2020 and 2021, while many music venues were still shuttered, the group began tour-ing, sweating their way through cuts Dillon and Haas had composed during quarantine writ-ing sessions. Locking in on stage, it quickly became clear the band was functioning at a level that made the hair on their arms stand at attention—even for three live music veterans ac-customed to life on the road.

“It became obvious to let this become a collaboration,” Dillon says. “This is really something all three of us are doing because we have so much love for one another and a love for the music that we started creating.”

“There’s only three of us, but we move together like a big, nasty school of fish,” Haas adds, laughing.

During the tail end of a 2021 tour, the band booked time to record with engineer—and func-tioning fourth band member—Chad Meise, and Inflorescence sprouted. Opener “Desert Monsoon,” sets the stage with a spiritual-jazz intro of organ, vibraphone, percussion and wordless vocal coos before crackling to life as a swaggering funk strut. The title track, and “Pandas,” dig into thick dub textures built around Glaspie’s drumming and Haas’s subwoof-er-straining bass synths.

“Apocalypse Daydream,” which appeared as an exotic head-nodder on 2020’s Shoot the Moon (titled “Apocalyptic Daydreams”) is reborn as a meatier jazz-rock slab where Dillon and Haas circle each other like Television performing as a lounge act on a cruise ship sailing seas of psilocybin.

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