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Binker and Moses

London-based duo Binker & Moses offer an organic, genre-bending, listening, engaging approach to jazz that embraces hip-hop, funk, and avant-garde influences. No mere improvising duo, their remarkable approach is built as much on hooky composition as it is on the freedom principle. Their audiences listen and dance. Saxophonist Binker Golding and drummer Moses Boyd are both bandleaders and first-call session players; they came together after working the road and in studios with others, and cut 2016's Dem Ones. It established them at radio and provided touring opportunities. 2017's conceptual Journey to the Mountain of Forever included an expanded line-up of musicians (who included Evan Parker, among others) and cemented their status in the London jazz renaissance. They worked the clubs as a duo and recorded together in the Moses Boyd Exodus. The pair issued a couple of live albums and returned to studio recording with 2022's Feeding the Machine, featuring honorary third member Max Luthert on loops and electronics. Prior to forming in 2014, both artists studied jazz academically. Golding attended Middlesex and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and Boyd, Trinity Laban College. After graduating, they each pursued session work; they met while rehearsing for a session by trumpeter Abram Wilson. They cemented a creative partnership while serving in the touring band of vocalist Zara McFarlane and began playing club gigs as a duo late in the year. In 2016, Binker & Moses released their Gearbox/Light in the Attic debut album, Dem Ones, showcasing a dynamic mix of modal jazz, vanguard free-funk, and hip-hop-influenced instrumental jams. Thanks to Gilles Peterson, and other forward-thinking radio and club DJs, the album found an audience. The set earned the duo the year's MOBO Award for Best Jazz Act, Jazz FM Awards for U.K. Jazz Act of the Year and Breakthrough Act of the Year and the 2106 Parliamentary Jazz Awards as Jazz Newcomer of the Year. That same year, the duo worked British and European clubs together and as part of the revolving Moses Boyd Exodus, issued the Time and Space EP. In 2017, the duo released the sci-fi-inspired, conceptual double-length Journey to the Mountain of Forever. The first disc, subtitled "The Realm of Now," was performed solely by the duo. The second, "The Realms of the Infinite," showcased a sextet that included saxophonist Evan Parker, drummer Yussef Dayes, trumpeter Byron Wallen, and harpist Tori Handsley. The set was recorded over two days at Mark Ronson's Zelig studio direct to a 1960’s Studer C37 1/4” tape machine without edits, overdubs, or a mixdown. Further, the artwork was created by Hugo-winning Welsh sci-fi and fantasy illustrator Jim Burns. The album's June release party at East London's Total Refreshment Centre netted a pair of future live offerings. The duo's members entertained road and studio work (mostly) separately over the next couple of years. Golding returned to work with McFarlane, and played with the Moses Boyd Exodus on 2018's large-band offering Displaced Diaspora. Boyd played with Nubya Garcia and others in addition to leading MBE. In 2018, Binker & Moses released the globally acclaimed Alive in the East? It was recorded with the sextet at the release party for Journey to the Mountain of Forever the previous year. In 2019, Golding issued his leader debut, Abstractions of Reality Past and Incredible Feathers, with pianist Joe Armon-Jones, drummer Sam Jones, and bassist Daniel Casimir, as well as the duo offering Ex Nihilo with pianist Elliot Galvin. While Binker & Moses sought to return to the studio, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented them from doing so. Instead they issued the live duo offering Escape the Flames, taken from the duo's first set performance at their 2017 release party. In 2019, Boyd recorded with everyone from Joe Armon-Jones and Theon Cross to Greg Foat and Tori Handsley. The Moses Boyd Exodus (with Golding as a guest) issued the full-length Dark Matter in 2020. That year saw the release of Connect, the final studio album by trumpeter Charles Tolliver. It featured Golding sharing saxophone duties with American altoist Jesse Davis, alongside drummer Lenny White, bassist Buster Williams, and pianist Keith Brown. The following year Golding appeared with bassist Olie Brice, guitarist Henry Kaiser, electronicist N. O. Moore, and percussionist Eddie Prévost on The Secret Handshake with Danger, Vol. 1 from 577 Records, and also with drummer Steve Noble and bassist John Edwards on Moon Day. Binker & Moses convened at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios over three days in March 2021. They brought honorary third member Max Luthert (the bassist in MBE) in to create alive loops and add electronic textures. The six-track set was co-produced by Grammy-winner Hugh Padgham (who also engineered and mixed) and mastering engineer Derek Sheinman, the wholly improvised Feeding the Machine was released by Gearbox in February 2022.
© Thom Jurek & Matt Collar /TiVo


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