James Holden and the Animal Spirits: The Animal Spirits review – a dizzying fusion

(Border Community)

Inspired by Don Cherry and Pharoah Sanders’s jazz-world fusion experiments with Moroccan gnawa music, former trance DJ Holden attempted his own crossover with Floating Points and former Sanders collaborator Mahmoud Guinia on the 2015 12-inch Marhaba. Forging those connections left him longing to play with a band of fellow explorers: hence new crew the Animal Spirits. The gnawa influence is strong in the dizzying build of Pass Through the Fire, but it’s just one element in a giddy maelstrom of cosmic prog, krautrock, techno and psych-folk. Occasionally, as on, er, Thunder Moon Gathering, things get a little pastichey, but it’s worth it for sublime moments like the title track, where lines between worlds and times blur.

Watch the video for Each Moment Like the First by James Holden and the Animal Spirits.


Emily Mackay

The GuardianTramp

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