“What the heck?” That was my reaction when the number I pulled led me to Infinity Machine by the band Passport. I wasn’t sure if I ever heard of them, so I looked them up. After hours of exhaustive research (or, more accurately, five minutes on Wikipedia) I learned they are a German jazz ensemble formed in 1971. Even though they rotated many of the members, they are still active today. Now I’m curious – let’s listen.
Infinity Machine sounds like background music for a retro-futuristic dinner party. It’s not a knock on the album, this was the 70’s where funk carried a heavy bass line and synthesizers were brought front and center. It’s an interesting sound, to say the least, and I found some of the music getting stuck in my head long after I turned off the record. Then again, I get the theme music from old game shows stuck in my head too, something the music on this album could easily pass for. So maybe my brain just naturally latches onto this type of sound.
The album contains six tracks but the standouts here are “Ju-Ju-Man” (clocking in at over ten minutes) with it’s constant but subtle shifting of styles broken up by funktastic segues and “Contemplation”, a more traditional sounding song that, as the title suggests, lets your mind wander. Further tracks, such as “Morning Sun” and “Blue Aura” are more subtle and quite pleasant.
Here’s a YouTube sample of “Ju-Ju-Man”, which may pique your interest or turn you off to this album completely:
Despite the dated sound, I did enjoy listening to the album. Though it’s hard to imagine in what context I’ll be hearing it again; it’s not exactly “road trip” music nor will it work as a soundtrack for a BBQ or poker game. But I’ll remember where I put it in case I find a need for listening to it (hint: filed under ‘P’).