Imagine if you will, a late night jam session between Hawkwind and The Mahavishnu Orchestra, doing nothing but giving their unique spin on Jimi Hendrix classics in an instrumental format...that's kind of the vibe that Machine Mass give on their latest release for MoonJune Records, titled Plays Hendrix. The trio of Michel Delville (guitar, effects, samples), Tony Bianco (drums, percussion), and Antoine Guenet (keyboards) are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Are You Experienced by reimagining nine Hendrix staples with a haze of prog, jazz-fusion, space rock, and of course psychedelia floating throughout. Delville's 'Rypdal-meets-McLaughlin' styled guitar pyrotechnics permeate the entire album alongside Guenet's spacey keys, exploding to the stratosphere on "Little Wing" and the adventurous "Third Stone From the Sun", while taking a more mystical approach amid waves of undulating synths on an engaging yet very different take on "Spanish Castle Magic". It's all about classic prog on a wild "Fire", complete with Bianco's rumbling drums, white hot Hammond organ, and scorching guitar solos, while "Voodoo Chile" is given a super funky treatment, the grooves thunderous, and the molten guitar is simply off the charts. What's really great about Plays Hendrix is the trio not being afraid to make these classics sounding completely their own and almost unrecognizable from their original versions, as on "Burning of the Midnight Lamp", which has a killer organ solo, as well as the space rock-jazz-guitar orgy that is "You Got Me Floatin".
Just to make sure the spirit of Jimi is here in some form, a little interview snippet with the man himself is included on Machine Man's jazzy version of "The Wind Cries Mary" to close out the album. It's a great way to end this very enjoyable release, a 'covers' album that doesn't give the listener note-for-note renditions of classic songs, but instead is a complete re-imagining of staples from an artist who forever will be seen as one of the greatest musical innovators that ever lived. Job well done Machine Mass...do not miss this one!
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
1. Third Stone From The Sun (7:54)
2. Purple Haze (5:47)
3. Little Wing (8:32)
4. Spanish Castle Magic (6:45)
5. Fire (6:20)
6. Voodoo Chile (6:57)
7. Burning Of The Midnight Lamp (3:24)
8. You Got Me Floatin' (10:57)
9. The Wind Cries Mary (2:51)