SUNNY JAIN | PLURALIST + REX DOMINO | MARK KOZELEK + BEN BOYE + JIM WHITE | LORENZO SENNI | YAZMIN LACEY
Hello again friends, freaks and fans of future-jazz.
This will be my last entry for a couple of weeks as I’m off on me ‘olidays next week (airline survival, coronavirus and Saharan sandstorms-permitting).
What that means, friends, is that you’ve got an absolute banger of a blog this week. There’s no saving up a good track for next week just in case everything else I hear is shit. This is all the stuff I’ve been enjoying most this week. Fuck the order, fuck the categories. Just wall-to-wall pure jazz filth.
Recommended ruckuses include everything from dhol beats (Sunny Jain – pictured) to drôle blasphemy (Pluralist + Rex Domino). You’ve got a tear-jerker from Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozelek, a party starter from Italian raver Lorenzo Senni and a sunbathing scene-setter (that’ll be more appropriate for me than for me old muckers back in Blighty!) from Yazmin Lacey.
Hell, you’ve even got a sneaky reference to John Legend’s ‘All of Me’.
For which I am truly sorry.
So, without further ado, hear more here…
– 1 –
THE CHARM OFFENSIVE
SUNNY JAIN: WILD WILD EAST
Dhol player, drummer, and composer Sunny Jain is something of an institution these days. Having collaborated with the likes of Peter Gabriel, Kyle Eastwood and Norah Jones he’s received accolades and adulation aplenty. However, his latest album Wild Wild East may be his most poignant. A celebration of his father, who emigrated from India to the USA, it was actually written and recorded as Jain’s father died last year.
The title trackconjures up all the endeavour and spirit of the founding fathers and combines it with Indian classical vocals and a musical storm in a chai teacup. A stirring, swirling slice of freewheeling jazz, Jain makes music to break-through borders to and it’s an exhilarating listen.
Further reading: this NPR interview with Sunny Jain.
– 2 –
THE MILITARY COUP
PLURALIST + REX DOMINO: UN SANCTIONS
Bristol-based producer, Pluralist teams up with specialist in “melancholic words, rhythmically arranged” Rex Domino for Manuka records’ first release of 2020. And talk about coming back with a sub-sonic bang.
If God’s listening (doubtful) to the lyrics of this song he’s probably not delighted with Mr. Domino’s endless blasphemy but anyone who writes about getting one’s ‘baps out on the Page 3’ is alright with me. It helps if you accompany it with dark-as-fuck industrial dubstep, of course.
Further watching: Rex Domino isn’t joking when he says his songs “can be broken down to just him and a ukulele”. Just check out this SoFar performance.
– 3 –
THE PEACEFUL PROTEST
MARK KOZELEK + BEN BOYE + JIM WHITE: MY BROTHER LOVES SEAGULLS
Deadpan lyrical genius, Mark Kozelek has combined with keyboardist Ben Boye and drummer Jim White (not to be confused with the similarly-named bow-tie-wearing berk) for a second album together. The result is something that is altogether quieter and more dreamlike than its predecessor.
Anyone who knows Kozelek’s previous work will have already anticipated that this is a song that has as little to do with ocean-loving birds as it does fraternal obsessions. What it is, is a track that trickles along gently and beautifully over the course of 10 wistful, wondering minutes of “nylon-string guitar drone” while the Sun Kil Moon frontman regales us with an actually very touching tale about a health scare his brother faced.
Further reading: you gotta check out the lyrics. Just don’t do so anywhere you’re afraid to cry.
– 4 –
LORENZO SENNI: DISCIPLINE OF ENTHUSIASM
WARP Records bestows upon us their first twisted, turbulent and utterly unique cut from Italian electronic musician Lorenzo Senni. The former punk drummer and hardcore techno fan releases upcoming album Scacco Matto (Italian for ‘check mate’) in April – a follow up to critically-acclaimed releases Quantum Jelly and Persona.
I’m obsessed with this track. Like a dyslexic John Legend, I love all its swerves and all its edges, all it’s perfect um… perversions. The one-man rave that is Lorenzo Senni has managed to construct a track that – like its rather apt title – bristles with bright optimism, while remaining meticulously structured.
Further reading: this fascinating, in-depth interview with Senni in SSENCE.
– 5 –
THE QUIET RIOT
YAZMIN LACEY: MORNING MATTERS
Nottingham’s Yazmin Lacey has been a big favourite of mine since before I knew how to properly format a WordPress blog (why not offend your eyes with my 2018 review of Black Moon). Now, she returns with an EP that features collaborations with Femi Koleoso and Ife Ogunjobi of Ezra Collective, as well as Moses Boyd. So I like her even more now.
Morning Matters – from the EP of the same name – is a solid piece of soulquarian funk straight outta the gospel according to Badu. Think trippy drums and buttery smooth horns. While I’m away this track will be my pool-side companion… along with a facemask, probably.
Further watching: check out this stripped back live performance of Black Moon in Gilles Peterson’s basement (not as sinister as it sounds!)
You can find all of the tracks reviewed above in the 45 Revolutions per Minute playlist below or click to access the Future Jazz Playlist on Spotify itself.
If you like what you hear (or even if you don’t), please engage in dialogue with me @45rpm_Reviews on Twitter. And, if you’d like to receive updates weekly, please subscribe to the email list to get these recommendations sent to your inbox weekly.
– SV –