Hello again friends, freaks and fans of future-jazz.
I’m actually writing this on Wednesday night as I intend to watch the American Football draft on my usual writing evening of Thursday this week. Given that said event starts at 1am in the UK, that means I’ll be retiring to my bed at around the same time as my three-year-old daughter, only to roll out of bed around 12:55 (and probably be back asleep on the sofa around 1:05).
And so, in honour of one of the most exciting 10 minutes of the 2020 sporting calendar so far (there hasn’t been much competition), I will announce my selections this week in typical Draft fashion. For those who are not fans of grown men smashing into each other (not sure what the Venn-diagram of future jazz / NFL supporters looks like), feel free to skip straight to the music. But know that you’re officially dead to me.
And so, with the first overall pick of this week’s Future Jazz Digest, 45 RPM takes Art Feynman, a producer out of New York. His electro-folk track, I’m Gonna Miss Your World has all the self-assured, laid back charisma of a dashing young Quarterback prospect and that’s why it works perfectly as my Charm Offensive selection.
Second off the board is God Colony and “‘gothic rap queen” Flohio’s track The Real. Like a meaty, aggressive Edge Rusher, it’s direct, disruptive and it’s my Military Coup choice.
Picking at three, 45 RPM takes Ferdinando Romano with his song The Gecko. A classical/jazz composition, some might be sleeping on this talent but, like a really good Left Tackle, this track will reveal its value over time.
Trading up to pick at four are drummer Moses Boyd and saxophonist Binker Golding. Their collaboration with Simon Ratcliff (Basement Jaxx) under the banner of Village of the Sun elevates each musician’s outputs and, like an electric young wide receiver, enables all three to touch heights others can only aspire to.
They’re your Guerrilla Warfare offering.
And rounding out the draft is fiery Colombian songstress Lido Pimienta [pictured]. Like a diminutive Running Back, dismissing her as mere synthpop would be a mistake… she hits fucking hard. And that’s why she’s my Quiet Riot this week.
So, if any of those get your pick, by all means hear more here…
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THE CHARM OFFENSIVE
ART FEYNMAN: I’M GONNA MISS YOUR WORLD
Art Feynman is known to his Mum as Luke Temple and may be better known to some of you as the frontman of New York indie band, Here We Go Magic. Three years ago he released his first album under the Feynman name – an LP that was actually the 10th of his 15-year career. This July he returns with a second (or 11th, depending on your viewpoint) entitled, Half Price at 3:30.
Imagine if José Gonzalez and Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier had some kind of awkward, introverted, corduroy-clad sexual liaison (don’t ask me how that’d work) and the resulting child was a song. Now imagine that, somehow, by some means, that child was a fucking bad-ass. THAT’S sorta what Art Feynman’s music sounds like. I’m Gonna Miss Your World inherits Gonzalez’s vocal stylings while its musical bloodline is unmistakably from Sadier’s side.
The result is a track that is funky but also kinda frayed around the edges; warped but also warm. I definitely recommend listening on good headphones just to pick up all the dissonance going on in the background.
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THE MILITARY COUP
GOD COLONY + FLOHIO: THE REAL
Scousers-turned Southern Soundcloud stars God Colony have been quietly putting out music for the last five years; even if the music itself has been anything but tranquil. On latest single, The Real the production duo once again ramp it up, teaming up with regular co-conspirator, Flohio.
And, while the uncompromising MC introduces this track by “advising you to keep it cool”, she pretty swiftly gets pretty hot under the collar. And that’s fine. Cos sparking off like this has a tendency to start fires. And fires spread quickly when they gather the sort of momentum that Flo builds on The Real. Fire-starting is important when your subject matter includes “fake love”, “break[ing] bones [but] not my soul”, and “how black people die (first)”.
And, if the lyrics are big, the music is suitably God-sized, building to a stirring close. Don’t let the track’s rhythmical swing deceive you; this is straight up.
Further reading: This excellent interview with Flohio in the Guardian.
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THE PEACEFUL PROTEST
FERDINANDO ROMANO: THE GECKO
Double-bass player Ferdinando Romano has been putting out music for more than a decade but only now, with today’s release of Totem has he turned bandleader. His collective comprises of some of the most exciting musicians from the Italian jazz/classical scene but is especially notable for the presence of trumpeter Ralph Alessi.
When I lived in South-East Asia as a kid, we used to have geckos bloody everywhere. Crazy little bastards, they were; impossible to pin down (if you did manage to grab a tail, it’d come off in your hand, before growing back again almost instantly) and while they, for the most part, went about their business quietly, you never quite trusted one not to run up your bum hole the minute you sat on the toilet seat.
Romano’s The Gecko, therefore, is perfectly titled for, while it scuttles along relatively under the radar for the most part, a careful listen reveals all sorts of unexpected little joys; the constant development of the melody, the tastefully subtle vibraphone of Nazareno Caputo and Manuel Magrini’s majestic piano lines. Understated, it is a track that rewards repeated listens. And not a bum hole in sight.
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VILLAGE OF THE SUN: TED
Village of the Sun is an electronic jazz trio that’s better known by its constituent parts. Basement Jaxx’s Simon Ratcliffe, drummer Moses Boyd and saxophonist Binker Golding have come together to form a project that Golding himself has humbly described as “the future of life”. I, like you, dear reader am distinctly unsure of what the future holds more than a month into Coronavirus lock-down but after hearing this, I certainly hope it contains more VotS.
Not an ode to the famous series of lectures on technology, entertainment and design so far as I can tell, TED is a ball of cosmic, constant energy, full of uplifting chord progressions, drums that won’t let up and a riff that sounds like something from the Tekken 2 soundtrack (kids, ask your Dad).
It’s 100 miles an hour, 1,000 bpm and all done in the one and only Binker and Moses signature style. What Ratcliffe does is garnish the gaps between the notes with spacey soundscapes that fill out the track and make it more complete and more compelling.
Further listening: The full Tekken 2 soundtrack (you won’t be disappointed.)
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THE QUIET RIOT
LIDO PIMIENTA: ESO QUE TU HACES
Colombian-Canadian synthpop/Latin hybrid artist, Lido Pimienta released her first record in 2010 but it was her self-produced 2016 album, La Papessa, that catapulted her into the spotlight in her home country, winning her the 2017 Polaris Music Prize. This week she returned with a third record Miss Colombia, inspired – in part – by the 2015 Miss Universe pageant in which the host Steve Harvey mistakenly awarded the crown to Miss Colombia instead of Miss Philippines.
Pimienta is well known for being outspoken on issues as diverse as race, gender, motherhood and identity and, on Eso Que Tu Haces – though the exact subject of her frustration is not entirely clear – there is nothing ambiguous about the delivery.
The sheer power with which she hits the notes in the chorus takes the breath away. The horns blare in the background as the songstress invokes the words “Eso que tu haces/No es amor”. “That thing you do/Is not love.” It is spell-binding and seductive and inspiring and incessant. It is probably the most powerful track I’ve heard all year.
Further watching: THAT moment at Miss Universe 2015.
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.
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