SINGLE REVIEW: Mabgate – ‘ I Asked’


This is the first single from Mabgate (the band formerly known as Mabgate Organ Trio). Now I know the name – who doesn’t – but the music I had, until now, not the slightest idea. I’ve been missing out.

For those of you who do know the band, the next bit isn’t for you. For those of you who don’t, this is a band who are frankly hard to define. The basis seems – at least as far as this release is concerned – to be jazz with just the right amount of funk. You should note here that I said basis because there are hints of desert blues, something kinda Middle Eastern and more than a hint of drug infused jazz based progressive music – like Gong and Soft Machine.

This is all downright confusing to be honest, if we’re approaching it from a ‘what does this band sound like’ angle. But that is the bloody wrong way to approach it. This is music to immerse yourself in. There’s that hypnotic pulse of that slightly funky desert blues, a guitar scattering compelling riffs over the track, the frankly wonderful organ floating i’s sound like a soft pillow. Oh a bass clarinet solo that’s going to blow your freaking mind. It’s mysterious, mesmirising and haunting. It’s visual music, it invokes pictures in your head.

Now look I’ve managed to get to this point without mentioning that there are no vocals on this. Why? Because you just don’t miss them, at no point do you find yourself thinking ‘well, this is brilliant but it needs vocals and words’.

This is glorious, music played and put together so fantastically. It’s music that can invoke any number of emotions and imagined scenes. In a phrase, this is all kinds of absolutely fabulous.

The info

The band say

This was a tune originally brought in by Nico, it’s the only one we scored out before recording it cause we really wanted the parts to mesh together cohesively. At the time of writing it he was listening to James Blake’s ‘Friends that Break Your Heart’ which was a super interesting take on writing about love. Specifically with this one it’s about wanting to do favours and selfless things for your friends because you care about them, and not receiving the same support back.

‘So the song is aggressive and the guitars dig in with this driving looped bass line that stews and broods underneath. We double tracked the melody with a lot of different instruments because it really needed to be percussive but it was the piano that really sells it. Then we got Joel Stedman in on Bass Clarinet and he absolutely nails the solo. He goes into some real powerful wailing and screeching which is just perfect for the track, he’s an amazing musician to work with.’

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Frank is the website guy for Local Sound Focus. Takes a lot of photos and loves writing about new music.