Saturday, 14 February 2015

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!

Native Dancer

This is the absolute pinnacle of performance-enhanced technical/high space funk - guaranteed to make cyborgs fall in love on dance floors throughout the outer reaches of the universe. Featuring: Tiny Beast / occasional-Snowpoet / all-round London tenor dude Josh Arcoleo; warp-speed ninja-bass-guitarist Jonathan Harvey; vocals with the healing powers of crystal skulls (real!) from Frida Touray; Opiate purple syrup in a blender, poured on a Nord by Sam Crowe; and an alien on drums called 'Ulysses'.


Atmospheric indie/electro-jazz? - harmonies to revel in as you dance away to those beats, which will be more than welcome at indie-hip-heaven Lexington (it's even got that classic indie-kid floor-tom-"hey!" moment). Xylophone, vocal samples, birds, housey-retro-synth, subby-background-bubbles - so many great sounds in this track. Remix gold, for sure, and definitely a top track in its own right.

Olivia's Owls

Soaring melodies, heart-rending harmonies, and visuals like this video for their track "Closure" make Olivia's Owls a great example of jazz musicians keeping things pared back, creating a simple, emotional connection to the listener. Some really powerful attention to detail in the video too - it's uncanny how watching and listening to this, it really does feel like a rainstorm comes and goes, and you're left with the freshness of a new, clear sky.