Avant jazz and improvisational group Food were founded in 1998 as a collaborative effort between British saxophonist Iain Ballamy and Norwegian drummer Thomas Strønen after a chance meeting. By the time they began recording, they had expanded to a quartet that also included trumpeter Arve Henricksen and bassist Mats Eilertsen. Their self-titled debut offering, as well as Organic & GM Food, appeared on the Feral label in 1999 and 2001, respectively. By the time they released Veggie in 2002 and Last Supper in 2004, they had moved on to Rune Grammophon.
The band was pared down to the original duo of Bellamy and Strønen for 2007's Molecular Gastronomy. After numerous tours and festival appearances as both a duo and in collaboration with other musicians, Food signed with ECM for 2010's Quiet Inlet. The addition of Christian Fennesz on guitar and electronics and Nils Petter Molvær on trumpet and electronics expanded the group to a quartet once more. For 2012's Mercurial Balm (also on ECM), the lineup expanded further, adding Prakash Sontakke on slide guitar and vocals and Evind Aarset on electric guitar and electronics.
Food played a series of European dates in the wake of the album's release. Strønen and Ballamy along with Fennesz reconvened in engineer Ulf Holand's (David Bowie, Satyricon, Motorpsycho) Oslo studio in June of 2013. They recorded a wealth of material. Strønen took the tapes and worked on them alone for five months, radically reshaping what the group had cut. The end result more directly referenced rock and driving electronica. Label head Manfred Eicher mixed the tapes while the bandmembers were rehearsing to perform the material live. This Is Not a Miracle was released by ECM in November of 2015, while Food were on tour. ~ Thom Jurek