Enemy - The Betrayal
Enemy - The Betrayal
Enemy, the trio of drummer James Maddren, pianist Kit Downes and bassist Petter Eldh make their We Jazz Records debut with their third album The Betrayal. After their self-titled debut (Edition, 2018) and the follow up (Vermillion, ECM 2022), the explosive yet lyrical trio is seeking new directions with the 12-track new record, arguably their strongest yet.
The Betrayal consists of all original material penned by Downes and Eldh. It's an album of "purposeful contradictions and a shedding of skin", a studio recording recorded within the scope of a single day, edited, produced and mixed by the band themselves. In their own words, the band "doesn't really rehearse, playing a lot live, taking risks, always writing new music, always playing as fresh as possible", and evolving in the process.
Careful listeners will quickly notice how different from Vermillion the new album is. Where once was echo and reverb, is now rhythmic intensity and a more compact sense of sound. The band sounds closer, their movement seems more focused. If Enemy would have a motto, it would be "no risk, no fun". True to this, The Betrayal has its sudden twists and turns, yet the trio never loses sight of what makes the music theirs. It wouldn't be fair to call them "experimental", at least for the sake of using such a vague word, but they do experiment, having fun while at it. Listen to the three albums in one serving and you'll surely hear many directions in music being suggested, tried out, perfected, thrown out, and taken into processing again. You can also hear it within a single track at times.
While being on the move at all times, they have a real "swing" in their sound, and there's always a bigger idea for the music than just playing it, whatever it might be at any given moment. Their music is natural, and why not, for it's based on long-time collaboration and friendship.
As Kit Downes once said: "Whatever the situation is, I'm always looking forward to meeting up with Petter and James again, discussing everything from W.G. Sebald, to Eels, to Mad Max (Fury Road) to East Croydon."