Their breakout instrumental projects were always on the watch, as well as their joint project with Ghostface Killah, Sour Soul which became a favorite of 2015. So where does that leave the Canadian ensemble now?
After dropping their project IV in 2016, the group felt to be M.I.A. in terms of full-fleshed projects. Now in 2021, Talk Memory enters the ring and for the first time in a long time, establishes dominance in the jazz genre for improvisation and truly beautiful progression pieces.
There is a crisp and freshness to the record here, while jazz never seems to be the same product through the years; BADBADNOTGOOD always managed to integrate new ability to the now nearly century-year-old stylings. Frankly put, Talk Memory is one of the most beautiful records pressed onto wax. There is little in the room for improvement as BADBADNOTGOOD not only procures a gentle dominance in the sound but is able to configure this stage of presentation unlike any other group right now.
The first track, “Signal From The Noise” uses this atmospheric build of tension to explode like fireworks against the grain of the audience, forming a bond unbreakable to sound. The nearly industrial use of heavy, bass strings and synths is much darker than the usual form from BADBADNOTGOOD. Opting entirely to be subtle and foreboding instead of bright and charismatic.
The later track, “City Of Mirrors” for example is gorgeous and fulfills that necessary love for sunshine in the instrumentation. BADBADNOTGOOD incorporates string sections like never before on Talk Memory and advances with Arthur Verocai who is a Brazilian composer and producer. This hand-in-hand nature that the two groups have combines as this almost overwhelming force of sound.
Truly awe-inspiring, much like the fireworks of the first track, “City Of Mirrors” is powerful but transcends the typical jazz standard. Great portions of Talk Memory forces BADBADNOTGOOD to make strides production-wise toward something more formidable. The record is intense in all the right areas and creates a space where the audience can blend their own loves into one singular identity.
Eight tracks to reach just around the 42-minute mark takes Talk Memory to be less about the cognitive and more about the lasting impact. Not to be a broken record at this point but BADBADNOTGOOD shows immaculate progression and creates one of the strongest releases not only of their career but of this year as well.