Bart : A labour of love. That's what they call this record. And I love it. Nova Collective is a new collective... Drummer Matt Lynch and bassist Dan Briggs share a history together: Trioscapes is their other instrumental phenomenon - which should also be planning something! The other half is made up of guitarist Richard Henshall and keyboardist Pete Jones. You might know them from Haken.
The music on 'The Further Side' is very much fusion. The sound is modern - think an update of Planet X and Liquid Tension Experiment-, but the music is much more jazz-oriented than most progressive rock "fusion". And it's not the lyrical, romantic side of jazz. It's the hard-hitting, tough-grooving, melody-spitting side of jazz. It's extremely funky and extremely vivid. And complex. Like Tony MacAlpine in Planet X, sometimes an intuitive burst of emotion translated into a scorching guitar lead is what we need. The guitarist in Nova Collective is more about other things. But in the closing title track, we get a bit of that straight ahead lyricism. Coupled with keys that remind me of Aziza Mustafa Zadeh, this really gets me lyrical. So yeah, a good track to close the album with: ready to push play again!
This record is some high level labour of love. Are there no further points of critique? Well, the artwork seems like a cheap version of Devin Townsend's 'Ocean Machine' front cover...so yeah, there you have it: that was my most major point of critique for this record. Enjoy!