The methods and ingredients change on Norwegian jazz group Food's fifth full-length release, "Molecular Gastronomy". Traces of Arve Henriksen and Mats Eilertsen are still burnt into the recordings: the formers penchant for working softer, more nuanced leads into odd, gnarly scenarios and the latters mindblown delivery remain clear points of emphasis. Saxophone player Ian Ballamy and drummer Thomas Stronen simply realize them from a greater array of subject-positions in these multi-hued narratives.
The sound is experimental, casting oddly shaped shafts of light in unexpected places. Ballamy works around a lyrical theme, emitting some leapingly delicious notes while Stronen's signature zaps and shudders sound like extensions and explosions from the formers lead.
Perhaps in part owing to the smaller numbers, commitment to risk and control and clarity of development are able to coexist. With this being said, the benefits of a fun, grotty side is not lost on the duo. In fact, as Ballamy negotiates creatively with Stronen's electronic textures and feedback, a rhythmic, electro-style percussion lubricates the proceedings, allowing the tracks to flow into and away from each other steady motions. Henriksen and Eilertsen were excellent players, true, but "Molecular Gastronomy", cool and meticulously structured, shows Food all the more intensely focussed on the elements that go into a full and enjoyable statement. 7/10 -- Max Schaefer (5 February, 2008)