By Martin Longley | Published November 2018
Brooklyn keyboardist Jason Lindner has received increased attention following his contributions to David Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, and currently is making his mark as part of Donny McCaslin’s touring band. In timely fashion, Lindner is pulling the focus back on his own outfit, Now Vs. Now. On The Buffering Cocoon, the group appears in a basic trio format, as Lindner is joined by bassist Panagiotis Andreou and drummer Justin Tyson.
The bandleader combines upright acoustic piano with an array of keyboards, including a Wurlitzer and a pair of Prophet synthesizers, with effects pedals littering their surfaces.
Retro mirage-shimmers overlay all, as Lindner glances over his shoulder at the 1970s and ’80s, picking tonal inflections from multiple decades. But he’s also cosmically attuned to the future, cannibalizing a range of sonic influences.
On “Glimmer,” pitches slide, bass warbles, drums jet then cease, blending shades of Krautrock and minimal house. Three minutes in, a clipped vocal repeat enters, almost converting the tune into Brazilian pop. Lindner’s phrases always are offered through a veil of imaginative, hands-on effects, and where “Silkworm Society” has a more conventional flow, it’s only by comparison. “Pergamos” has a Greco-Turkish electro-vibe, cutting to glitched reggae for its second phase, a highlight track in its near-demented mashing-up. Quality persists with “400 PPM,” its crashing beats, tiny vocals and squirting decorations sounding like a soundtrack to an unseen Biblical epic.
The Buffering Cocoon: Buffering 3; Cloud Fishing; Glimmer; Motion Potion; Silkworm Society; Buffering 43; Dichotomy; Pergamos; Squoosh; 400 PPM; The Scarecrow; Accelerating Returns; Buffer Failed, Restart. (56:22)
Personnel: Jason Lindner, piano, keyboards, electronics; Panagiotis Andreou, bass; Justin Tyson, drums; Sasha Masakowski, vocals (11).