If you like your freeform jazz with north African gnawa music and vast modulators then you’re in luck. James Holden has assembled his disparate avengers; from dance artist Lucy Suggate, who performed a solo show 'Pilgrim' set to Holden's previous record The Inheritors and ethereally adlibs to The Animal Spirits’ title track in its mesmeric video, to Alice Coltrane’s incorrigible percussion. Together, the avant-garde legion, they launch a counteroffensive on musical inanity, exhibiting an ardent boiling pot of creativity bubbling over onto the worktop of heavy-handed analogies. There’s the unmistakeable glee of deviating artists finding conceptual fertility in bouncing off each other, an amalgam of muses.

Holden attests to have encouraged – with some structural constrictions – improvisation and experimentation from his merry band, and there’s a trippy – and incongruously cohere – looseness to the record’s direction, a sense of (whisper it) stream-of-consciousness authenticity; we understand quickly that its assured unpredictability will never transgress. Whereas 2013’s The Inheritors, quite essentially one of the best electronic albums of this or any decade, earmarked Holden’s paradigmatic shift from wabbly trance to primeval and hot-blooded techno, The Animal Spirits, though still underpinned by electronica, shares lineage with jazz and post rock. Like those more divergent movements, there’s an interest here in patience, space, and spontaneity; peeling back the artifice of chords and harmonies to reveal the innate beauty of musical filtration. A rudimentary summary would be Godspeed You! Black Emperor bringing in Kamasi Washington and, well, James Holden.

A kinetic and ethereal flute whirls inside ‘Spinning Dance’, worshipped by harmonising male chorales. ‘Pass Through The Fire’ is aptly incendiary; trundling percussion and organ-aping synths ceilidh dance while peripheral synth flutters encourage from the track’s rafters and crevices. ‘Each Moment Like The First’ most echoes The Inheritors; a straight-edged, polished electro-techno dirge that satisfies in its refined primacy. The title track is an enchanting canvas, more enchanting for its aforementioned video, with its synth steam train mediated by Etienne Jaumet’s understated saxophone. Jaumet’s sax takes centre-stage for the closing ‘Go Gladly Into The Earth’, strangely the most conservative cut off the album, and a restrained anti-climax.

There blossoms the wisdom that ‘Thunder Moon Gathering’ is the best song Holden’s yet recorded, and, yip. An apocalyptic fever dream of giggling synths and skirmishing brass, underscored by delicately textured percussion, a swelling and receding tempest. It’s transfixing and volatile, and quite unlike anything you’ll have heard this year.

Throughout it all Holden acts as the pivot, his layered production and soundmixing the epicentre providing the lucidity and poise which withholds such dashing pluralism from disarray.

The Animal Spirits is an impermeable fog that tells music’s derivative predilections to fuck the fuck off. The record is a lot of things and also unquestionably not, for the most part embodying an impregnable and extraordinary soundscape that fortifies itself against deconstruction, but its one truly distinctive quality is that it’s the precise opposite of boring. I’m sure there’s a polysyllabic German word for that somewhere.