There is something about jazz that, as an adult in 2019, brings out the scornful child in me. It’s not so much the music, but the fans. Those bearded hipster twats who are much more interested in the commodity fetishism of the record - like which pressing of the Gato Barbieri album they have etc etc ad nauseum – than the actual music therein. These people don’t listen to jazz, they appreciate the hell out of it. They are not fans, but connoisseurs. They are not people, just really loud mouths and crass opinions. They know who they are, don’t worry about that.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I also dislike tomatoes, bigots, wasps and Sebastian Coe. Cheers.

Anyway, on to the new album by ALARMIST, which combines elements of math rock, jazz, electronica and all sorts of expansive weirdness to produce nine songs of rampaging charm and charismatic complexity that places the band well and truly in danger of being declared a darling of the circle jerking jazz fraternity. It would be a shame if this happened to ALARMIST as there is so much more going on in Sequesterer than aural onanism for its own sake. The songs twist and turn through difficult time signatures, a range of instrumentation and non-repeating arrangements that could well put off many casual listeners, but there is also a sense of engagement, of sheer fun here which belies the level of musicianship that this band are capable of conjuring up.

‘District of Baddies’ (yeah, some of the song titles are a little ‘meh’) opens Sequesterer, and is a heady mix of math and jazz, like Delta Sleep being remixed by Flying Lotus. Each instrument takes it in turns to be front and centre, with the drums and basslines often wandering off together while the keyboards do their own merry little diversions here and there to form a whole which demands the listener’s attention. ‘Boyfriend in the Sky’ follows, and has echoes of the poised majesty of Icelandic wonders Múm jamming with Tortoise as it contorts and reshapes itself over its all-too-short duration, whilst ‘Lactic Tang’ plays with that hazy, stop-start musical formula that many Brainfeeder bands play with. When you hear it you’ll know what I mean.

The album benefits from being disciplined enough to ease off the hectic pace on occasions. ‘Life in Half Time’, with its prepared piano and slowly intertwining melodies, allows for a pause but also an exploration of spacial presence with its minimalist arrangement and purposefully blurred production, which gives a sense of warmth to the core of the album.

The album closes with ‘Nvymr’, a skittish flight of noodling guitars and off beat keyboard lines that almost bring a melody to the fore, a hook to sink your teeth into. It is loose limbed yet taut, relaxed yet racked with nerves and is, put simply, a nice way to finish the album. The last sound heard is the closing of a piano lid, the muso’s equivalent of a mic drop, and renders a sense of quiet satisfaction from the band towards their work.

Sequesterer is a joy from beginning to end. Not an immediately easy to digest pleasure, that’s for sure, but one that will likely retain a sense of timelessness in years to come.