I've been a huge fan of Nik Bärtsch and his band Ronin since Sid Smith put me on to them years ago. I came in a bit late, with their last studio album but quickly worked through the whole discography and caught a live show in London that became a 'top five gig' instantly. I loved the space and the funkiness. The music surprises and the bigger than the sum of its parts nature of the band.

What I never did, for some strange reason, was listen to his other, acoustic, band, Mobile. Actually there was avery good reason. There was no bass player and an important part of my love of Ronin's music was how the bass worked within it. I'm a bassist. What can you expect but bigoted rejection of what looked like an otherwise great band.

But... Mobile (still without a bass player but with occasional strings) have a new album, Continuum, out. It's on ECM and it's astonishing.

I have just listen through once and, though it's obviously too soon to pin my feelings down, I'm reaching for words like: mysterious, funky, beguiling, surprising, cinematic, lush, eerie and pretty much perfect.

If you like Nik's music. Buy it. If you have open ears. Buy it. If you're not sure, buy it. I am now going to listen again.


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