Inhabitants prove they're cool on A Vacant Lot

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      A Vacant Lot (Drip Audio)

      Inhabitants is the brainchild of JP Carter, known for trumpet and electronics effects which he contributes to a variety of local bands, including Fond Of Tigers, the Tony Wilson 6Tet, and Carsick. The band’s third full-length on Jesse Zubot’s Drip Audio, A Vacant Lot, was recorded the same year as Inhabitants avant-rock–inflected 2007 release, The Furniture Moves Underneath. It creates a notably different mood, however, evoking dreams, undersea life, and, musically, perhaps, the more ethereal offerings of the German label ECM or the chilly, reflective electro-jazz of the Norwegian group Supersilent.

      Standouts include the opener, bassist Pete Schmitt’s “Far Away in Old Words”, an effects-heavy bit of transcendentalism built around a meditative bass line, with subtle and crafty drumming from Skye Brooks. Just as impressive is Carter’s “Over It Begins,” a rather noisy nine-minute tour-de-force that brings the album closest to rock, with a near-punky bass and drums attack provoking the band leader and guitarist Dave Sikula into some of their most out-there playing on the disc.

      Comparisons to Miles Davis, circa Bitches Brew, are inevitable, but a bit unwarranted; even at his most abstract, Miles was hot, physical and funky, while Inhabitants are a tad cerebral, and have more air and water in their playing than, say, fire and earth. They’re very “cool,” though, in more ways than one—and it’s cool that Vancouver has spawned a unit as notable as this.

      Download This: “Far Away in Old Words”