Hailing from Zurich, Switzerland, Muralim has released their debut, eponymous EP. As students at the Zurich University of the Arts, the band was recently featured in the Best Of Swiss Jazz series. The band is led by saxophonist Mauro Reimann, who is also credited with composing this incredibly strong debut record.
Muralim opens with “Acho”, a song that feels like a breath of fresh air. Within its near six minutes, the band, featuring drums, bass, and a lush balance of electric guitar, synths, and sax, ebbs and flows through differing passages of melodic and rhythmic variety. The band effectively plays with space, with sections feeling wide open while others are more tightly packed, and while an overarching push and pull effect through unique rhythmic modulation steers the song in exciting directions. Quite contrastingly, the following song, “corn da tinizong” feels like, for the most part, a more straightforward journey. The song has a neo-soul vibe to it, with a beat that feels influenced by J Dilla (deep in the pocket, but ever so slightly and, intentionally so, out); however, the song shifts gears into a modal chorus that is ever so displaced that it feels inspired by Kamasi Washington.
Beyond the opening two tracks, Muralim continues to take a drastically modern approach to jazz that feels entirely unique. From the lyrical and dark balladry of “Nachtwach” which feels like a lost outtake from Donny McCaslin’s work with David Bowie, to The Police inspired strut of “Pluto”, Muralim is a brilliantly inspired album unlike anything else in modern jazz. The band feels fully formed in both their song writing and performance with a sound that, despite a rich well of influences, is distinct.
Over the course of six songs, Muralim will leave you speechless. Their work is as creative as it is inspired; ultimately allowing for them to deliver a new life to the genre for the decade. Without a weak moment across the album, Muralim is a stunning collection of music that is bound to leave you thrilled and delighted.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: MURALIM – MURALIM