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The Hypersonic Factor biography
HYPERSONIC FACTOR is a jazz rock group led by Jason RUBENSTEIN which records with musicians from around the world. In 2018 they released their debut album which was recorded from studios in USA, Germany and Netherlands and it features drummer Danny HANDLER, bass player Mirko BORACH and guitarist Dan VAN DEN BERG.

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3.17 | 3 ratings
Inventions Of Diffusion

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 Inventions Of Diffusion by HYPERSONIC FACTOR, THE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.17 | 3 ratings

Inventions Of Diffusion
The Hypersonic Factor Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by wiz_d_kidd

3 stars Inventions of Diffusion is a self-released album by The Hypersonic Factor, an international collaboration of musicians with Danny Handler (Austin TX) on drums, Mirko Borach (Dinslaken Germany) on bass, Jason Rubenstein (San Francisco CA) on keyboards, and Dan van den Berg (Rotterdam, Netherlands) on acoustic and electric guitars. Each musician recorded their parts independently and sent them to Jason Rubenstein for mixing and mastering, with assistance from Danny Handler.

Mirko Borach is an accomplished musician who publishes a lot of fretted and fretless bass tracks under the pseudonym "Stringburner" on Soundcloud. He collaborates with a wide variety of worldwide artists doing funk, jazz, prog, and fusion. His solo albums are bass-only instrumentals. Many tracks on this album feature a nice bit of funky slap bass. The track "Speed Demon" was penned by Mirko.

Dan van den Berg is an architect by vocation, and gifted guitarist by avocation. He has recorded Renaissance lute, Flamenco, classical guitar, and fusion. In most collaborations, one artist provides the spark of an idea for a track and the others add their respective parts. Dan was responsible for the initial composition of the track "Veils in the Serpent Wind". It was originally released as an acoustic track on Soundcloud in 2015, and was followed by an electric version in 2016 which formed the basis for the track on this album. The piece hints upon the dangerously seductive dance of Salome, and draws on Dan's Flamenco stylings.

Danny Handler, a web designer who also composed drum tracks as a business named The Rhythm Core, has played on pre-production studio recordings many well known artists. He graduated from the University of North Texas School of Music. Sadly, he passed away from cancer in early 2023. The band, with Tom Hipskind on drums, released a single "Groove for Danny" in his honor. Proceeds from sales go to Danny's long-time partner, Jennifer Watson.

Jason Rubenstein, a computer scientist by trade, is a well-know keyboardist and composer covering multiple genres. His most recent endeavors reflect his love of metal-edged progressive music, as is evident in releases like "New Metal From Old Boxes". His music is not terribly heavy metal, for those who shy away from such sonic assaults, but is just loud, noisy and angry enough (by his own admission) to give one the taste.

This album was self-released for digital download only. There are no liner notes to give credit to the genesis of each track in this international collaboration. With Jason Rubenstein on keys and doing the mixing and mastering, I would have expected a more keyboard-centric album, but he appears to have selectively mixed himself into a supporting role rather than a lead role. Guitar is prominent throughout, and besides the unmistakable Flamenco passages which reminds one of Al DiMeola, one will hear frequent Alan Holdsworth stylings, and many (many!) fast and furious neck-travelling licks. One highlight for me is the track "Now I Know Where I Am", which brings to mind the fabulous acoustic guitar riff and solo performed by Pete Callard on Shpongle's track, "Dorset Perception". And the intro to the track "Veils in the Serpent Wind" is reminiscent of the guitar work on NIL's "Le Gardien". Great stuff. The variety of guitar styles on this album is impressive.

Besides the aforementioned tracks, "The Organic Machine" is noteworthy for the building intensity on bass and drums, making the track a real head-nodder which I wish I could witness in a live performance, and "The Soft Spot" for its enticing and engrossing melody and a great job of mixing every musicians contributions to the forefront. The track "The Pursuit" creeps briefly into Crimson-esque territory, before launching into heavy prog with a surprising array of different passages and movements -- a track which forces me, uncontrollably, into playing the air guitar.

If I had any complaints about the album it would be that many tracks (not those mentioned above) show a great degree of sameness -- to the point of being indistinguishable. Any one of those tracks, by itself, is fabulous and a great listen. But when taken together as a full album in a single listening session, I felt the musical ideas a bit repetitious. Too much of a good thing, I guess.

My other complaint is one which is common to many remote collaborations -- it fails to achieve the kind of groove and synchronicity that can only be achieved when the musicians are colocated, playing together, reading each others body language, and responding to each others whims and accidentals with their own innovations which takes the music in new directions.

If you enjoy bands like Liquid Tension Experiment, Special Providence, Planet X, or Jason Rubenstein's solo releases, give this a listen. Three stars.

Thanks to historian9 for the artist addition.

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