Sycamore - Sycamore with Friends (4 stars)

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Sycamore - Sycamore with Friends

(Ubisano)

Off-duty Tattie Toes drummer Shane Connolly and band-mate Jer Reid alongside Arab Strap-and-a million-others guitarist Stevie Jones form the core of this low-key side-project supergroup, but on this organic-sounding debut are emboldened by an all-star cast of similarly off-piste mavericks, including pianist Bill Wells, viola player Aby Vulliamy and vocalist Nerea Bello.

The result on these six instrumental workouts veers from angular Mediterranean thrash to post-Tortoise twang, with wonky piano and viola scrapes pulsed by busy drum patterns. Beautifully textured, it beguiles one minute before going into orbit the next, a bit like a post-rock Mahavishnu Orchestra with all the indulgences chopped out. Lovely.

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