Tim Berne's Snakeoil has a release schedule that feels thoroughly retro: ECM debut Snakeoil released in 2013, Shadow Man in 2014, and now You've Been Watching Me. Often such a schedule would be done at the expense of quality control. But this is ECM we're talking about, and quality control is one of their key ideals (whether you agree with that or not is another matter, but they certainly are very conscious about their decisions, if nothing else).
There is something very Zappa-like about the sound here (early post-Mothers era), despite the lack of a rock band underpinning. The orchestrated interplay of the mostly acoustic instruments (Ryan Ferreira's guitar accounting for the majority of the electonics). Moods duck and weave, shifting methodically but not formulaically.
Album opener "False Impressions" adheres to this kind of arrangement, setting up what is to come. The temptation to dissect this, somewhat academically, is high. However, such ...