Thursday, 26 February 2015

Listen: Dan Nicholls remixes Sandra Kolstad's Zero Gravity

Dan Nicholls, of Strobes (and keys player for Can of Worms, Brass Mask, Vula Viel, etc.) has just released this remix of Norwegian singer Sandra Kolstad. It's typical of the baffling inventiveness that have made his live sets the place to be in the last few months. His beats are made with an unsettling assortment of new and familiar sounds, and the accents and swing are constantly shifting. It makes for a heady rhythmic evolution that develops smartly throughout the track. The bass drops are perfect - heavy, beautifully textured, and drowned in spinning loops.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Listen: taster tracks from upcoming Phil Robson trio album The Cut Off Point

Have this delicious slice of organ trio from Partisans guitarist Phil Robson. These taster clips from his upcoming album "The Cut Off Point" are ridiculous. It's not exactly surprising given the lineup: Ross Stanley on organ (bubbling under each track is a masterclass in how to use swells, stabs, and spinning chorale to full effect), Gene Calderazzo on drums (the album swings hard, and maintains - in just the right way - enough backbeat and heavy groove, which has always made the organ trio one of the prime media for delivering electric jazz to audiences). It's gritty and melodic with a powerful drive, and more than enough of that tasteful, geometric workout to make it great Phil Robson and great jazz.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Listen to clips of Alex Roth's Otriad

Alex Roth (Blue Eyed Hawk, among many others) has put back up on the internet some burning clips of his band Otriad, recorded live at the Vortex in 2013. I'm not sure this reposting means that there's more to come from this group - they're all busy pushing on with their respective projects (Simon Roth is one half of Vula Viel's drum kit section, James Opstad and Joe Wright are two-thirds of Duck-Rabbit, etc.) but even just these snippets are worth listening to: heavy, narrative electronic jazz.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

mp3 download: Troyka - Troyka Smash (Survival Skills Remix)

Glitchy lo-fi techno via dance/electronica website Data Transmission: never has 4-to-the-floor had such a wide groove to it - this cut is heavy in a simultaneously organic and computerised way. Everything hangs just off centre, maintaining the spirit of Josh's drums, with Kit's organ hooks and Chris's guitar lines looped in trippy little epicycles, each focused well outside where you would expect. A mash of progressive jazz/rock/techno mastery guaranteed to scare the crap out of you.

Listen: 3 bands playing some kind of future-jazz

For those wanting to catch a cross section of the more pop/dance-influenced side of London jazz, I thought the lineup for this gig at the Lexington next month was worth mirroring in a post. Below are three tracks, one from each artist... enjoy!

Thursday, 12 February 2015

video: Snowpoet in session at Fieldgate Studios

Snowpoet just released this video of them playing their new track 'Mermaid' in a live session at Fieldgate Studio. I remember the song from an early duet recording of Chris and Lauren sat at a piano, but here it is fully formed with Matt Robinson, Nick Costley-White and Alex Killpartrick. What? No Dave Hamblett? Rest assured, I hear he'll be on the studio version.

It's a shimmering, minimal song, deceptively simple, with a pattern that rolls along over an intricate, fragile drum loop. Heartbreaking pads swell underneath, and a glacial harmonic motion pushes onward throughout the piece. To see such a dreamscape so masterfully constructed in a live session is really powerful. Sit back, and let the music wash over you...

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

hear this stunning new track from the upcoming Twelves album

This preview track from the upcoming Twelves album is just stunning. Spacey, sliding guitar, bowed bass and a distant washing rumble of drums provide a misty, backdrop for some of the most beautiful, lyrical sax playing you could imagine. For a while, guitar comes to the fore like the memory of a figure emerging from the fog. As the folk melody returns, we are carried away by the creaking harmonics that brought us here.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Vula Viel and James Maddren Quartet at the Jazz Nursery

This double bill was intense. One word that came up a lot in the after-chat: Vibey. Viby? Vibey. Powerful, creative music resonating from deep within the wooden belly of the 1973 replica of Sir Francis Drake's 16th century galleon, Golden Hinde. Here's a belated write-up of the two bands that played: Bex Burch's Vula Viel and James Maddren's Quartet (minus one).

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Sam Rapley trio recordings - EP soon come

I only just heard Sam Rapley play for the first time a couple of weeks ago. He was in Ralph Wyld's Mosaic at the Oxford. It was a double bill with George Crowley's Can of Worms - the gig itself, probably the best £5 I've ever spent on a Monday. Plus the £5.something for the pint of Lagunitas. George's band was on form. They've been warming up for a launch tour for his upcoming second album, and the new pieces he included sounded incredible. Then came Mosaic, their earlier gig at the Oxford having been cancelled. Out of the whole sextet, Wyld himself was the only one I'd heard play before (in Rick Simpson's Klammer, among others). For me at least, they were a whole new generation of players, and it was pretty hip to be able to check out so many new musicians all in one set.