At the heart of Mat Muntz’s new album, Phantom Islands, is the idea of radical syncretism, music from everywhere and nowhere. “This is a “counterfeit folk dance” which I imagine to be from the phantom island of Satanazes, a nonexistent place off the coast of Iberia,” Muntz explains. Muntz and the stellar ensemble concoct imaginary sonic histories with echoes of early blues and early 60s free jazz improvisation dynamics. A zigzagging, invigorating bagpipe solo from Muntz sets the tone at the beginning, trailing away into dusty alleyways and sandstone pathways. Elsewhere, Xavier Del Castillo’s tenor sax solo flickers in the bright blue sky before cascading into the night with the gamboling rhythmic section. Pablo O’Connell adds a rapid-fire ballet oboe solo as an exclamation, all blowing in a mystical Mediterranean breeze.
Phantom Islands will be released on February 24 by Orenda Records. Stream below and pre-order HERE.