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Leap Second Neutral by Machine & The Synergetic Nuts

Machine and the Synergetic Nuts were founded in late 1997 by prominent Japanese musicians: drummer Sudoh Toshiaki and keyboard player Iwata Noriya. Saxophonist Masahide ‘Mahi-Mahi’ Hasegawa and bass player Suzuki Hiroyuki joined later. Through it’ s tireless and frequent performing, the band quickly earned fame on Japan’ s local music scene. 2003 saw the release of MSN’ s self-titled debut recording, bringing them to listeners beyond Japan.

MSN followed up with Leap Second Neutral. On Leap Second Neutral the band comes at the listener with a lethal dose of energy. Their sound combines all the elements of rock and jazz, and everything in between (subsequently fusion), but more prominently they successfully glue together 70s funk with 90s, high-powered drum ‘n’ bass music. It is impressive how the band can navigate rhythmically through many themes, at every possible tempo. This is a major point of highlight for the band, an ability to take a dense, crowded sense of space and make it sound tidy. This skill is their musical catalyst, their vehicle for moving between musical ideas. Most of the energy radiates from drummer Toshiaki. Toshiaki plays so furiously that he could probably pass a steroid test with flying colours. All this clatter can sometimes bury the wonderful playing of keyboardist Iwata Noriya (the noisy rhythm section could be turned down a few notches, with little to no loss of effect). Noriya is the real deal, it is a treat to hear his many tasteful keyboard excursions. Noriya’ s fine chordal colourings, (in unfortunately limited spots), provide beautiful statements, whether he uses piano, Fender Rhodes, organ or synthesizer. The keyboardist admits to a wide spectrum of influences: Miles Davis, Sting, Burt Bacharach, P. Funk, Dave Douglas, and Dixie Dregs.

Although the music doesn’ t have that swinging type of feel, or any soul for that matter, there is still a high level of musicianship. Machine & the Synergetic Nuts are exactly as advertised, a clockwork system running at full steam ahead from start to finish. Leap Second Neutral, puts MSN somewhere in the upper portion of the progressive rock and fusion genre.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Machine & The Synergetic Nuts
  • CD Title: Leap Second Neutral
  • Genre: Progressive
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Cuneiform
  • Tracks: M-B, Monaco, Trout, Neutral, Stum, Oz, Solid Box, Texas, Normal
  • Musicians: Sudoh Toshiaki (drums, percussion), Suzuki Hiroyuki (bass), Iwata Noriya (keyboards), Mahi-Mahi (tenor & soprano saxophones)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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