Mechanical Bear is a trio comprised of Chris Koh (violin), Masahico Shimaji (bass) and Samm Bennett (drums and vocal). The three improvisors have developed a strong musical relationship and create a focussed ensemble sound. Funky beats and bass lines from Samm and "Masa", in a tight rhythmic dialog, form a solid base for the music, while Chris Koh's violin work moves between soaring melodic exploration and taut, angular cross-rhythmic phrasing. Masa also expands the sonic palette of the band through his deft use of various effects and extended performance techniques, sometimes transforming the bass into what seems like an altogether different instrument. Rounding out the proceedings are Samm's extemporaneous vocals and spur-of-the-moment songs. All in all, a swirling and eclectic mix of unexpected musical elements making for adventurous listening that's nicely satisfying at the same time.