The Drift
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The Drift

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May
17
The Drift @ Butlins Holiday Center | All Tomorrow's Parties

Minehead, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

Minehead, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

May
16
The Drift @ Butlins Holiday Center | All Tomorrow's Parties

Minehead, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

Minehead, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

May
15
The Drift @ Butlins Holiday Center | All Tomorrow's Parties

Minehead, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

Minehead, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

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Music

Press


“The middle ground between Godspeed! You Black Emperor and Miles Davis’ In A Silent Way is not such a bad place to inhabit. And this San Francisco quartet pitch their tent there very successfully.” 4 stars – Mojo - MOJO


“After the brutally intense debut 12” from the Drift, it was only logical that a full-length similar to the teaser would land shortly afterwards, much to the delight of post-rock fans everywhere… In a genre that often recycles its own ideas and eats its young, this is potent and fresh.” 4 stars – All Music Guide - AMG


The Drift are a San Francisco quartet comprising trumpet, guitar, upright bass and drums, who
make lovely, loose-limbed pastoral instrumentals. If the instrumental textures and unmissable
jazz and dub influences suggest the Chicago scene of Tortoise et al, it isn’t long before the
group’s ensemble playing locates them more accurately as inheritors of the open-skied, wide-
eyed wonders of West Coast forebears like The Grateful Dead. This debut album escapes the
anxieties of reference and influence to which post-rock can succumb, and instead conjures up
plain air forward-thinking pictures.
“Gardening, Not Architecture” sets the tone, opening the album over 11 absorbing minutes.
Perhaps the title is an oblique manifesto, describing the way these long pieces unfold organically
rather than to any overdetermined, pre-planned structure. They barely have identifiable parts of
sections, but rather regions, into which the instruments migrate by degrees. And this applies to
individual notes as much as to whole tracks. The trumpet playing of Jeff Jacobs has led to
comparisons with Miles Davis circa In a Silent Way (no doubt suggested in part by the jazz-
inflected atmosphere and the slow-burning durations); an overstated comparison, but Jacobs (like
Davis) is clever with space. He allows notes to hang long in the air as they decay softly through
the mix. Danny Grody’s keys on “Transatlantic” are similarly sparse, and they signify all the more
for it. Grody is usually on guitar, coaxing it into swells and shudders through dense haloes of
delay. At other times his tone has a lovely, chiming clarity, picking out unfussy arpeggios. Rich
Douthit on drums and Safa Shokrai meanwhile fit together some grooves that preclude the album
turning into a succession of vaporous atmospheres.
The Drift reportedly took two years building up to recording. Hopefully, they’ve now hit their stride
and they’ll produce more of these gorgeous stretches of ensemble lyricism sometime before
2007.

- WIRE magazine


“Sporting slow motion, incandescent incantations and miles of majestic instrumental magick, San Francisco’s The Drift post-rock so hard they think nothing of teasing four minutes of hazy gaze three times over until it becomes a 12-minute epic. Herein lies their triumphant strength: they allow each instrument the space and context to develop and abstract-the longer the songs, the better they are. Battling for conceptual cornerstone are the glimmering guitar of Tarentel’s Danny Grody and Jeff Jacobs’ bastard Bitches Brew fusion trumpets and flugelhorns-every other instrumental band should be terrified about now.” – XLR8R - XLR8R


The Drift could quite possibly open the world of jazz to a new generation of listeners and break open a can of worms in terms of the future and destiny of the music that many listeners today still associate with their parents or grandparents and stiffs in suits. Their debut 12", Streets/Nazomi, and their subsequent full-length, Nuomena, opened many sets of ears to a sound that was both laden with old-school sensibilities and the medium for a new sound that was, and still remains, completely their own. Their other, vinyl-only songs were just released in a collection entitled Ceiling Sky. This catalog, along with their release for the Travels in Constants series, which I have sadly not heard, has been enough to, in my mind at least, establish them as a unique voice in music that should be heeded.

Their latest effort, Memory Drawings, furthers their musical odyssey, helping to solidify their place in music and at the same time keep both curious first-time listeners and devoted fans guessing. With the eight songs on this album, the band's sound matures and develops into a profound aural world that pushes the boundaries of both their own sound and that of their peers in various jazz and experimental groups making waves right now. I have to say that this album is probably their best work yet, and surpasses both their initial 12" and full-length by a substantial margin. Dense, contemplative horn tones meet evocative guitar melodies that thrive in a musical world grounded by one of the most tasteful rhythm sections out now. Over all Memory Drawings expands The Drift's world to a perspective that is more focused yet beautifully ambiguous. Definitely something to check out whether a first-time listener or faithful lender-of-ear.

9.8/10 - Hawiian Winter Blog


With their 2005 release, Noumena, this San Francisco crew eked out a patch of post-rock ground that abutted against the jazz/fusion property line. This collection of tracks previously only available on vinyl releases further articulates some of their best attributes. On the 2004 “Streets/Nozomi” tracks, Safa Shokrai’s upright bass sits atop of the alternately driving and dragging rhythms, fantastically recorded to capture every hint of vibration, string snap and finger pluck. The two tracks taken from the vinyl version of Noumena are a touch chillier, exploring dub rhythms and atmosphere with the aid of Jeff Jacobs’ lowering trumpet work. The crown jewel of the release has to be Four Tet’s remix of “Gardening, Not Architecture.” Kieren Hebden knows his way around acoustic instruments, upping the free jazz overdrive of the drum track while swirling the electronics and guitar like a blizzard-y treat. Eventually, high-pitched electronics sub in for the woodwinds and it all locks down into an over-caffeinated loop. This is high-energy fun. (Temporary Residence) - Exclaim! Canada's Music Authority


This repurposed compilation of vinyl-only tracks and remixes by leftfield San Francisco instrumentalists The Drift is either an excellent appetizer or chaser to their singular effort Noumena [having to do with cognition]. The band is also all about the mind, and their stark but jazzed atmospheres can send yours into a wonderland of chilled introspection. From the light strums of "Nozomi" to the arrhythmic bump of "Streets," it feels like Coltrane and Tortoise got together, got high, and got busy on the groove. Four Tet's kinetic remix of Noumena's "Gardening, Not Architecture" jacks up the pulse and, along with Sybarite's space-funk slice-and-diced "Invisible Cities," positions The Drift as one of the most fertile sonic gardens around. - 8 out of 10 - XLR8R


I thought myself a lucky man when I caught The Drift playing in Los Angeles in 2001 or so. Their
dub-infused take on the crescendo rock idea was a real breath of fresh air, much like the other
bands they played in or played with. With two members of the constantly shifting San Francisco
band Tarentel (this has changed now, but this was then), The Drift easily stole the show that
night with its easy skill, but they had no records to sell, no way for me to spread their love… until
now.
Temporary Residence has graciously released a two song 12”, in a limited run of 1000. With its
own hand silk-screened chipboard jacket, this album is every bit a work of visual art as it is a work
of aural magnificence. And the best part is that this record is just the tip of the iceberg. Soon, an
entire record of this groundbreaking dub-jazz will be hitting the streets. This will have to tide you
over until then.
Side A, “Streets”, begins with an atmospheric, reverby guitar swell, and the sound of a metropolis
in action. City activity gives way to interweaving trumpet wails and rolling jazz drums (provided by
the ever-capable Rich Douthit, formerly of the TRL band Halifax Pier). Propelled by a constantly
shifting bass line, the ten-minute track keeps its hypnotic pace throughout. You hardly realize it is
time to turn the record over, but you will be glad when you do.
“Nozomi”, Side B, falls back on a more indie rock feel for its basis. Almost Godspeed-like (how
did that get to be an adjective?) guitars strum pensively in the beginning, leaving just enough
space for the bass to thrum in between. Following is the ghostly reverbed trumpet, creating the
hugest sound I have heard in a long, long time. For the people looking for Tarentel or other TRL
bands, this is the track for you, but The Drift doesn’t just dumb it down and give you what you
want, or expect. Danny Grody has always displayed amazing control and finesse with his guitar
work, and this beautiful song is no exception. There is space for everyone, including Jeff Jacobs’
incredibly diverse trumpet work and Safa Shokrai’s virtuosic upright bass playing.
Rather than just handing us a bunch of Mogwai gone Bob Marley, The Drift has scratched
deeper into the fertile earth of dub and jazz music, but keeping it just innovative enough to satisfy
their fans of the noise rock genres too. Well done, all around.

- Indy Workshop


"Music that caught me off-guard; not since Tortoise’s “Gamera” 12” have I heard any rock
musicians tackle jazz-oriented instrumentals with such a clear, propulsive, open-ended approach
and be so successful at it. “Streets” ebbs and flows in and out of a solid backline on the upright
bass and droning electronics and horn trills into breaks and guitar stabs that revive the track and
justify its nine-minute length. “Nozomi” is more of a grower, but builds nicely into its groove. Music
this sophisticated comes from crack musicianship and the ability to read and play off one another
in an ensemble, reigniting my interest in a genre I had written off long ago. Only 1000 copies
pressed, with a nice silkscreened chipboard sleeve." - Dusted Mazazine


Discography

"Memory Drawings" CD/2xLP - Temporary Residence Limited (coming out April 8th!) 2008
"Ceiling Sky" CD - Temporary Residence Limited 2007
"Noumena" CD/2xLP - Temporary Residence Limited 2005
Travels In Constants Vol. 19 CD - Temporary Residence Limited 2005
"Streets / Nozomi" 12" EP - Temporary Residence Limited 2005

Photos

Bio

Originally a side project from Danny Grody (Tarentel) and Trevor Montgomery (Lazarus), San Francisco's The Drift very quickly matured into a full-time dub-jazz-rock ensemble. After Montgomery left Tarentel and The Drift to focus on his Lazarus project, the band enlisted upright bass phenom Safa Shokrai to replace him - in addition to Jeff Jacobs on trumpet and Rich Douthit (Halifax Pier) on drums - ultimately steering the band away from its ambient rock leanings and into the hazy world of dub-infused guitar stabs and inspired jazz shuffles.