Jeff Mills – The Drummer review

The third and final in the Drummer series in which Sir Jeff of Detroit pays homage to the patrons of percussion. As with parts 1 and 2, each track on the EP is named after a legendary drummer, and in this case it’s the jazz cats that get the love: (Art) Blakey, (Jack) DeJohnette and (Alphonse) Mouzon all get a mention on the a-side, while messrs Bellson, Jones and Bruford get named on the flip.

The resultant tracks, however, are anything but jazzy: this is Mills at his deep, dark, minimal best. There’s nary a synth in sight, with the sole focus being some rather menacing Roland 808s. Things kick off with “Blakey”, an incredibly tense, hypnotic track that rarely deviates from its chosen course. “DeJohnette”, meanwhile, offers a more pulsating, almost alien vibe, akin to some of his recent work on Something In The Sky.

The b-side features yet more contemplative work from Mills, most notably the closing track “Bruford”, named after British drummer Bill Bruford, a rock musician-cum-jazz drummer who once toured with Genesis (don’t say you never learn anything here). Here we see Mills coax some extra thud out of his 808 to great effect.

Review: Aaron Coultate