"The semi-classical drums/sax/piano trio Mammal Hands mutate into a high-volume rave act" The Guardian
Captivating, ethereal and majestic, Mammal Hands (saxophonist Jordan Smart, pianist Nick Smart and drummer and percussionist Jesse Barrett) has carved out a refreshingly original sound from a disparate array of influences: drawing on spiritual jazz, north Indian, folk and classical music to create something inimitably their own.
Hailing from Norwich, one of Britain's most isolated and most easterly cities, they have forged their own path away from the musical mainstream and their unique sound grew out of long improvised rehearsals. All three members contribute equally to the writing process: one that favours the creation of a powerful group dynamic over individual solos. Their records are entrancing and beautiful affairs, while their hypnotic live shows have seen them hailed as one of the most exciting bands in Europe as they push their unique line-up to the outer limits of its possibilities.
Over the course of three albums, Animalia, Floa and Shadow Work they have built a committed following and established themselves as one of the finest live bands in Europe. But while Floa and Shadow Work were both issued on vinyl this is the first time that Animalia has been committed to wax.
Produced by Matthew Halsall and recorded at 80 Hertz Studio, in Manchester, and engineered by George Atkins, Animalia features the band breakthrough hits Mansions of Million Years, a slow building tune that takes it's name from Egyptian mythology and draws the listener into the band's distinctive sound world. And the gorgeous hooky Kandaiki which makes stunning use of looped melodies in different time signatures, creating a wonderful interplay between the parts.
Other highlights include Snow Bough a short, melancholic, but moving, ambient composition, the Irish folk music inspired Spinning the Wheel, which also features drum beats inspired by chopped up electronic drum patterns and hip hop instrumentals. The jaunty Bustle and delightful Inuit Party and Street Sweeper. Finally the album closes with Tiny Crumb, which explores melodic ideas inspired by Alice Coltrane and Joe Henderson and builds in intensity from a quiet start to a powerful collective improvisation and heavily features Jesse's Tabla.