The origins of the project trace to a summer night one year ago. At the end of a gig-packed week, in the middle of the set on an outdoor stage, Morritt looked down at to find one solitary ant had made its way to the interior of his base drum and was crawling up the head. Morritt continued playing. The ant kept climbing.
“Must have been loud,” was his first thought. But, the image— that dark spec slowly ascending that white circle—stayed with him. It was equal parts peace and chaos, a brave but lonely act. There was beauty there.
At a transition period in his own personal and professional life, and having established himself as something of a rising star in Seattle’s experimental music scene, Morritt decided the time had come for him to emulate that speck on his bass drum. He’d compose an album. He’d release it himself.
Remy Morritt with his album The Ant, provides us with an avant-garde jazz, Frank Zappa style. The whole album was recorded in Hazy Bay Studio in South Park, Seattle. All songs were composed by Remy Morritt and counted with the collaboration of Alex Oliverio in the electric guitar, Andrew Lihudis in the electric bass, Daniel Salka in the keys and Levi Gillis in the saxophone. Six tracks that not only sound original in its composition, but also gives us a feeling of relaxation and joy. Released 26th August.
Art by Jocelyn Beausire
Venera is the second track of The Ant, that stars with a syncopated Rhodes line layered with guitar effects and cyclical chord changes. Its title is inspired by the Russian Venera missions to the wondrously volatile and hostile planet Venus.
Skeme Goes AllCity by Àbáse is the newest jazz track featured in Synths of Eden.
“‘Skeme Goes All City’ is a dedication to the New York graffiti pioneer Skeme and the power of self expression in Hip Hop culture. We wrote and recorded the track in one improvised studio session in the oldschool way, all the musicians in the same room, no headphones, no chance for correcting mistakes or editing. Raw.” – Àbáse
Also available for streaming in Soundcloud. It has an amazing art cover by Fabian Kretz. Àbáse is a project organised by Budapest born keyboardist Szabolcs Bognar that organised a collaborative project with other artists.
Their debut project has 7 tracks, being Skeme Goes All City one of them. It’s the newest feature of Chilling in Eden
This track is an exploration of African rhythms and the use of instrumentals providing a jazzy yet electronic tune. Indeed an original material, coming from Kalaha and their new release Dragon Jenny. The band consists of two electronic musicians (Rumpistol & Spejderrobot) and two live instrumentalists Niclas Knudsen & Emil de Waal, from Denmark.
It’s an impressive 6:07 that reminds a live experience, of a jam session of well skilled musicians, without loosing all the emotion and feeling of music. It’s a reaffirmation of the fact that all music have their roots in West Africa. With Dragon Jenny, the band allows itself to combine the African inspiration together with traditional electronic music with synthesizers, such as the keyboards, summed by electric guitar and rhythms.
The band has previous albums Massala (2016) and Hahaha (2014). So there’s a lot of good music by Kahala, I personally recommend Massala for a first listener. Their forthcoming album has been announced and will be called Mandala, to come out this second half of the year.
They also have some music videos, such as BWW (such a lysergic experience):
This is a new feature for our Spotify Playlist – Synths of Eden
The track is a lysergic narrative about SunRa and Coltrane, that turns out to be as trippier as it can be while it lasts for 5:30. It intercalates voice with keys, synthesizers, Rhodes and bass.
Kaos Protokoll is a band from Bern, Switzerland and SunRaColtraneSolar features Mr.Are.Dot. The track has been released today by Prolog Records. Their sound is marked by a blend of jazz and electronic music elements that hardly fit any music genre I’ve been acquainted with. Therefore, we add that label “jazz/avant-garde” just to make sure it’s not highly commercial and it’s not crazy enough to be labelled ‘experimental’ as there are some jazz elements in the middle, which bring the clear reference to SunRa and Coltrane. In a nutshell, the track is a superb combination of narrative, drums and jazz instrumentals combined with synthesizers and definitely cannot go unnoticed in this blog.
For a small sample of Kaos Protokoll live performance, check the video of New Chapter:
“I’m glad it’s over, to be honest. This thing has been a labour of love and a veritable chapter in my life, but there’s only so long you can work on something and expect it to improve.” Christopher Giffard.
Another track that flirts with pop, yet allows itself to provide us experimental sounds and makes us enjoy music outside the box imposed by the industry’s aesthetics. Though its press release mentioned it being influenced by Flying Lotus, for my ears it sounded way more like a Hot Chip.
Not all the music produced to the perfection level will achieve, as much as there are many track recorded and produced in a few hours with great results. Though it served as push Sydney based artists Christopher Giffard to present a great work with Talk to Me. A blend of percussive jazz piano, dreamy vocals and washy drums. It’s a complex track lyrically simple, it express the powerlessness felt when a loved one struggles to express his or her feelings or accept help from his/her partner.
The track is a collective work, featuring keyboardist Glenn Sarangapany (Birds of Tokyo) and drummer Michael Hardy. It was recorded and produced in collaboration with engineer Nathan Sheeny. This group collaboration happened in Glenn’s vintage studio Electric Sheep Music. The track has been sketched for over an year, showing that productivity meant less than final quality. Before that, there was a mountain of discarded takes in studio.
An interesting fact is that Christopher started making music first in computer to only afterwards get into jazz and piano composition, he claims to be involved by a feeling way more than by a genre itself.
Another track that will be featured this week in our Spotify playlist Chilling in Eden, this time Sebastian Kamae (Pin de Jong) and his Dust. An artist from the same country this blog is based in, the Netherlands.
The track is chill, with jazzy grooves, very melodic, with several different textures of bright synthesizers. For sure Sebastian Kamae is highly influenced by hip-hop and the beatmaking scene, as much as for the artists featured here earlier on.
This track is a combination of great jazz, cinematographic, summed by chill music, full of beats, that seem to have been made by sticks at some parts. Canal is the 2nd single of Anomalie‘s forthcoming EP, Metropole Part II, to be released tomorrow, independently.
Anomalie is the project of keyboardist and producer Nicolas Depuis, from Canada. The Metropole EP is dedicated to Montreal and the canals from his childhood times. Nicolas has been studying jazz and piano since his early years, which consolidated his skills as a musician.
His popularity is due to his ability at live performing, especially playing keyboard. Much more than a studio artists, he dedicates his career as a performer. He performed together with artists such as Gramatik.
Another remarkable ambient track sent from Norway. Ceiling Filled With Water is the combination of two artists, Tortusa/Breinstein. The track is part of the album Mind Vessel released 16th March by the jazz label Jazzland Recordings. The duo was nominated for the Spellemann Award (Norwegian version of Grammy) for their last album in 2016. It is possible to affirm that this duo gets the best from both worlds of Jazz and Electronic Music.
Tortusa (John Derek Bishop)is an ambient artist that gathered with saxophonist Inge W. Breistein. After releasing the album “I Know This Place – The Eiving Aarset Collages” (2016) by Jazzland Recordings they returned to another collaboration. The whole album itself is a collage of saxophone recordings that are sampled and processed by hardware and software. Largely improvised, the album mixes partially composed melodies with rhythmic repetitions typical of electronic music.
Another interesting fact about the recording process behind Mind Vessel is the fact that recording sections were executed in different rooms of a Cultural Centre and former beer brewery Tou Scene in Stavanger. The acoustics of those rooms is an important factor to this album’s ambience, as much as harmony and melodies itself.
The duo is touring Norway, England and Germany to release the album. On stage they vary between playing improvised stretches and composed songs. Some of the saxophone played in the concerts are also spontaneously sampled and used as part of the live performance. In addition to pre-recorded material. Breistein also experiments with effects to extend the sound of his saxophone, just like a guitarist with his pedals.
Tortusa is also responsible for the album’s visual arts.
The whole album explores the limits of sound design in music, playing with sampling and recording, the final result is just great.
This 2018 brings us this primal work from multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer Zack Maxwell. His work combines “the best of contemporary pop, funk, gospel, soul, with the intention of exploring higher realms of consciousness through music”. It reminded me a bit the work of Andre 3000 sometimes. Like in Forever Wild but it can also remind sometimes a bit of Kaytranada with Romare in Wonder of the World. The fourth track Are You? shows an excellent jazzy track, perfect for chilling, that Kind of Blue vibe for laying down and blaze. It is a not very pretentious EP but with high results in quality. It deserves to be listened.