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London Jazz News - full review:

NOISE IN YOUR EYE are the Wiltshire-based duo of Adrian Chivers and Daniel Pennie and this is their debut release. The pair make music collectively, using improvisation and intuition, refashioning the results later in the studio. If that sounds a bit left-field for your tastes, just think of all those great Miles Davis records that Teo Macero pieced together in much the same way. And, of course, a lot of film music is made like that.

End of the day, it’s the results that count and this is rather splendid. That it’s (maybe) the great Keith Tippett’s last recording adds more than a little poignancy to the affair, a reminder perhaps of Keith’s contributions to King Crimson. Add to that, drummers Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Michael Giles (Crimson, McDonald & Giles), Ian Matthews (Kasabian) and saxophonist Brandon Allen and this is a bit of a stellar affair. But this would be a fine record without the star names. Somehow or other, Chivers and Pennie have made an album where every sound seems just right.

Take “Limits-of-Control.” It’s built around a North-African sounding riff and pulse. At its heart are the twin drums of Michael Giles and Kasabian’s Ian Matthews. Over the top, you hear Brandon Allen’s tenor and Caroline Dale’s cello. Their function is to guide the strongly modal melody through the miasma of sounds created by Chivers, Pennie, Tippett and Arnie Somogyi.


Anyone who has ever tried to negotiate a souk in Marrakesh or Tunis will know what I mean – it sounds like that, it feels like that. Don’t fight against it. Just go with the flow.

Or “Zombie-Johnson,” the next track. There’s just so much happening here. Keith Tippett’s prepared piano throws in toy-time sounds. Dan Reid’s trumpet cuts through the fog, while the saxophones of Allen and James Gardener-Bateman fight for space. The whole thing is built upon a kaleidoscope of cascading rhythms and interweaving guitars and electronics. Is it jazz? It’ll do for me.

The key to Chivers and Pennie’s approach lies in a love of film. Think of those films that became so much more because of their soundtracks. Think of Elmer Bernstein, Ennio Morricone, Hugo Montenegro or Lalo Schifrin. This is music for the un-made films that run through the minds of its creators. The claustrophobic “NTT” could be science fiction or a labyrinthine, psychological thriller. “44-Steps,” with Caroline Dale’s gorgeous cello and Tiit Kikas’ equally lovely violin, is a city coming alive at dawn, its early morning denizens slowly giving way to office and store workers and shoppers who will people it once more.

“The-Dark-Spot” is a policier with its staccato riffs and train sounds, while “Limbo-Lines” reminded me of one of those guitar-led soundtracks Ry Cooder created for directors such as Wim Wenders. And “Scent,” perhaps, betokens something more romantic – love discovered or re-discovered. There is not a duff track on this album. There is not a moment or a sound wasted. There is not an effect or interjection that isn’t perfect. This is one hell of a debut release.(Duncan Heining, London Jazz News, Autumn 2020) 


From The Yellow Room - full review:

'NOISE IN YOUR EYE is a project by Adrian Chivers and Daniel Pennie. Boasting heavyweight contributions from Keith Tippett, Michael Giles, Nick Mason, and others, every track offers a singular sound-world that variously touches upon a hushed minimalism, deep rock grooves, cinematic vistas and jazzy abstraction.

Twanging guitars, brushed percussion, darting strings, trickling piano and nebulous drifts of brass revolve in twinkling constellations that form ravishing melodies.

There's an air of intense spontaneity about this album that belies the painstaking editing required to pull all these strands together so seamlessly.

Incredibly exciting and, in places, profoundly moving, this is a contender for album of the year.' (Sid Smith, 2020)


PROG Magazine - full review:

Instrumental Duo enlist Nick Mason and Others for Debut Album.


Listening blindfolded to Noise In your Eye, there’s something about its shape and feel, with themes and motifs that accrete then dissolve almost organically, that recalls electric Miles Davis – albeit in a rockier vein – and Tortoise offshoot Isotope 217. This might partly be due to the fact that it was created out of live ensemble improvisations with subsequent edits and reworkings. Adrian Chivers’ assorted sounds and Daniel Pennie’s guitars carry a lot of the melodic work here and the featured drummers include Nick Mason, Michael Giles and Kasabian’s Ian Matthews.

Limits of Control is a polyrhythmic stew with strings shimmering in and out of the frame, while Zombie Johnson begins with a syncopated conversation between double bass and drums, with trumpet, sax, electronics and FX’d guitar joining in. Keith Tippetts’s piano lines add extra spice. Tippett plays beautifully throughout the impressionistic, textural Touch The Water shaping pellucid Bill Evans-like chords that fracture into dissonant runs. Noise in Your Eye might not be the first group to make music in this way, but this is a dazzling, inspired album that reveals its subtle details over repeated plays

(Mike Barnes PROG Magazine, June 2020 Issue)


Jazz Journal - full review:

Noise In Your Eye – the duo of Daniel Pennie and Adrian Chivers have assembled a very impressive ensemble for their self-titled debut, including a number of significant figures in the history of British prog: Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Michael Giles (King Crimson) and the late Keith Tippett (Centipede, Mujician).

As such, Noise In Your Eye is rich in cinematic ambience. The compositions of Pennie and Chivers combine improvisations from Tippett and saxophonist James Gardener-Bateman over expansive soundscapes, with rock grooves, guitar textures and haunting strings (from Tiit Kikas on violin and Caroline Dale on cello). The influence of its prog contributors is apparent and hints of King Crimson and late Floyd can be heard clearly throughout.

A personal favourite is the disturbed and jaunty funk of Zombie Johnson. As guitar, sax, trumpet and piano seem to battle for the solo spotlight, there’s enough going on musically to keep the listener engaged.

This holds true for much of the album. If there’s anything Noise In Your Eye is lacking, it’s not detail. With a great personnel line-up, it’s a choice record for the prog-jazz enthusiast – and a worthy finale for Keith Tippett.

(Gareth Thomas, Jazz Journal, Aug 2020 issue)

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