Needle Driver is the latest experiment of Brooklyn musician Brandon Seabrook. The hard-to-describe EP seamlessly bridges contemporary classical music, experimental jazz, and mathcore into a nasty instrumental tapestry. The trio even includes some microtonal intervals, spotted in the song “Venwhorerisin'”. The five compositions are too quickly gone, but they provide an endless amount of entertainment while they last: uncommon time signatures, odd harmonies, complex and exhausting melodies, as well as a knack for deranged structures that somehow hold themselves together. Needle Driver goes left and right, up and down, forwards and backwards, and I’m sure it also goes wild … Read more
Chryste Panie – Polish for “Christ, Lord” – released their self-titled album earlier this year. The quatuor plays an interesting blend of free jazz and ambient electronic music inspired by devotional and shamanic music. Here, the synthesizers stick exceptionally well to the ritualistic free jazz aura the band is conveying. The droning notes and chords are exploited to their full extent by saxophonist Michał Małota, while the drummer and percussionist provide rhythmic continuity and occasional eccentricity. One of the defining moments of the album is on “Wejście”, when the folly picks up and a very rare entrance of a voice … Read more
From the Montréal metropolis comes yet another jaw-dropping album. Anomalie is the alias of musician and producer Nicolas Dupuis, and Métropole is their debut EP. The strong grooves and heavy electronic funk are what will immediately jump to you upon listening, and you can’t help but be caught by the flow. This EP oozes of Snarky Puppy and Tigran Hamasyan, among many others, but with a definitely more electronic music edge to the jazz artists mentioned. Amidst all the keyboard and piano virtuosity lie beats in various feels, like the swing feel and other shuffles – among which some … Read more
The massive eighteen-piece big band, or small ensemble, from Germany Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra released, in early July, their latest album in Vula. The hourlong release, which features seven tracks, is very eclectic and dense. Their music has a sometimes retro quality to it, which takes you back to the music of the thirties or forties, but retain an undeniably modern aspect. The vast array of musicians play demanding compositions, like the fast-paced and hectic ‘In Light of Turmoil’, blaring almost relentlessly for more than thirteen minutes. I can only imagine how the drummer’s right arm feels after this… … Read more
Out in September but available for streaming now, Austrian Namby-Pamby Boy‘s self-titled third album aims at the no small task of transcending genres and categories. While not being outside of any pre-existing box, Namby-Pamby Boy is an album that breeds jazz, electronica, hip-hop, and rock together in a buffet of compositions. The ten-track, one-hour album goes from moody to energetic and offers plenty of interesting and powerful moments, thanks to the lush keyboards and meandering saxophone rocking the songs. The album will be out on September first through Babel Label.
With members from Poland and Chile meeting in the Netherlands to play modern, progressive jazz together, Quantum Trio just released a massive hour-and-a-half-long double album, Duality: Particles & Waves. Besides being of massive scale and tremendous musicianship, Duality is a concept album on the wave-particle duality, an important concept in quantum physics. The first disc, Particles, is focused on the tangible, while the other one, Waves, embodies the ethereal facet of matter and energy. Concretely, the shift is very noticeable on the music itself. As per their own description, Particles contain polyrhythmic tunes and ballads, both undeniably … Read more
Love Theme is Alex Zhang Hungtai and Austin Milne on saxophone, and Simon Frank. Love Theme, their debut album, is a languishing and bleak experimental jazz recording edited from improvisation sessions. The record is droning over almost all its runtime, with electronic music elements complementing the saxophonic exchanges. It’s melancholic and atmospheric, reflecting on the past and reaching within. There is nothing flamboyant about this release – it’s actually quite drab –, but in being so it goes straight to the point it wants to make: an ode and elegy to love. Through the slow burn of noise percussions … Read more
Once in a while, I get a personal email containing music that’s just above and beyond good. This time, that email came from Jackson Albert Mann, and the music is under the moniker Araqsana. Jackson is a post-graduate student at the Berklee College of Music, and his debut EP displays some very tasty jazz fusion. Jackson states he is influenced by hardcore punk, experimental electronic music, and jam bands. The latter I can feel in Araqsana, but the former two are much more subtle and it takes more than one listen to get a glimpse of them through … Read more
We are pleased to present a live video of Ikarus performing ‘Ryuujin’ off their most recent album, Chronosome.
Ikarus is a Swiss contemporary jazz band with an interesting configuration. They take a typical acoustic jazz trio composed of piano, bass, and drums, and add two scat vocalists – one male and one female – to the mix. This results in a highly unique sound defined by sublime vocal interplay underlaid by dynamic compositions.
The human voice, unbound by language, is more versatile than any other instrument one might use. Ikarus certainly proves that with their stellar performance. The rhythm … Read more