If you have never heard of Italian instrumental duo Deflore, well you can no doubt be forgiven. They have never hit my radar despite having four albums out. If however you don’t know who Jaz Coleman is, well shame on you, the lead Jester of Killing Joke really should need no introduction. Apparently he is often asked who his favourite modern band is but draws a blank. Seriously though he is involved in so much music of his own from classical to the post punk he is famed for as well as other pursuits and general nuttiness it is no surprise he has little time take anything else in. However he saw Deflore when they supported KJ in Rome and was apparently so blown away by their cinematic sound he decided to work with them. Cue a brief trip to Prague to record and the result is this 3 track EP.
The title track thumps in, thick drums and solid bass riding roughshod and guitars grating away. Then that unmistakable clarion call of a foghorn voice that has followed many gatherers of a certain age through life hones in. It’s an angry number with a solid tribal thwack about it, bristling with energy and antagonism it’s a party that is not unfamiliar and I am sure many Joke fans are going to be trying to compare it to songs from the group’s illustrious past. I’m not playing that game but yeah it is difficult to differentiate the fact that it is Deflore playing here really and apart from some subtle keyboard parts (actually played partly by Jaz) if you hadn’t told us this could easily have passed off as the real deal. Deflore are left to shine through with the second number Sunset In The West without the distraction of vocals. Jaz is left to play piano on this instrumental and the tone is much more sombre; the comedown after the party if you will. It has a soundtrack feel to it and is left to gently flow, the main melody reminiscent a bit of some of the incidental music from Trent Reznor’s Natural Born Killers OST due to the piano motifs. It’s a song of two parts as it does suddenly clank into robotic gear and is certainly interesting once you get over the idea that there are only 3 tracks and one is without the vocals most of us came for here in the first place. It’s left to the “why did nobody think of this title before” Transhuman World to take us out and vocally we see the other side of Coleman who plays beatific end of world prophet over jagged guitars and brooding beats.
It’s a win, win for Deflore who are seriously going to have a lot of interest sparked in their music due to this and Joke fans are not going to feel left out in the slightest whilst they patiently wait for the next album. In a nutshell that’s it; when Jaz calls we listen, simple as that!
(7.5/10 Pete Woods)