High-quality laptop jazztronica from the prolific Chicago-based collective

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Chicago Underground Trio – Slon

From the hard bop riffing of opener “Protest” to the sombre, muted finale, “Pear”, it’s clearly evident that what began in 1995 as Tortoise-style out-rock improv has now evolved into a fully-fledged fusion of jazz and electronics. Unlike European acts such as St Germain or Cinematic Orchestra, who offer languid, loungy pastiche and over-stylised reverence, this gloriously uninhibited ensemble puts its head right into the blast furnace. Whether throwing fast’n’fiery Ornette shapes on “Sevens” or exploring the dark side of abstraction on “Kite”, messrs Mazurek, Kupersmith and Taylor have taken jazz hybridity to a whole new level.