Category: instrumental

New Audio: Joan Pérez-Villegas Releases a Breezy and Whimsical New Composition

Mallorca, Spain-born, Bern, Switzerland-based percussionist, composer, bandleader and producer Joan Pérez-Villeagas can trace the origins of his music career to when he began studying percussion at eight years ago old at the Conservatory of Music and Dance in Palma. When Villegas turned 19, he relocated to Barcelona, where earned a Bachelor’s in Classical and Contemporary Percussion at ESMUC. Interestingly, while in Barcelona, the Mallorca-born, Bern-based artist developed a deep interest in jazz and traditional music that led him to earn a Masters in Jazz Composition under the tutelage of Lluís Vidal.

Throughout his young career, Villegas has been involved with a diverse array of projects across an eclectic array of styles and genres including chamber music, classical symphonies, pop, traditional music, jazz and even scores for dance, theater, and film. During that same period, he has managed to be rather busy: he has studied with the Balearic Symphony Orchestra, been a guest artist at Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival (SICMF) 2016 in South Africa and at Festival Cistermusica 2016 in Portugal with his percussion duo Face two Phase, which won first prize at the fourth annual International Chamber Music Competition Cidade Alcobaça (CIMCA) in Portugal.

Released earlier this year, the Pérez-Villegas and Marc Urrutia co-produced, Blau Salvatge is Perez-Villages’ full-length debut as a compeer and bandleader. Recorded over the course of two days with Alberto Pérez at Barcelona’s Sol de Sants Studio and collection of friends and fellow students including Pau Lligadas (bass), Josep Cordobés (drums), Ariadna Rodríguez (violin), Pau Vidal (flute), Toni Pineño (clarinet), Joan Mar Sauqué (trumpet), Max Salgado (French horn), Leire Corpas (guitar) and of course, Pérez-Villegas (marimba and vibraphone) at Barcelona’s Sol de Sants Studio, the album’s material is centered around six kaleidoscopic compositions that manage to be individually distinct and focused on a different compositional process. And yet, each composition is part of a larger, cohesive whole.

Earlier this year, I wrote about album single “Valvé.” Centered around a cinematic and mind-bending arrangement, the composition finds a talented collection of young musicians darting, weaving, bopping and strutting through several different tempos and styles — including Birth of the Cool and Kind of Blue-era Miles Davis, Horace Silver, breezy Brazilian jazz, Spanish folk music and film and TV scores — while evoking contemplation, awe, wonder and childlike whimsy.

Blau Salvage’s latest single “Algorritme I” continues in a similar vein as its predecessor as it’s a whimsical and breezy composition that features elements of hard bop, jazz fusion and film scores in a way that recalls Danny Elfman and JOVM mainstay Jonathan Scales. Of course, what truly makes the composition is the effortless yet soulful playing of each musician.

New Audio: Italian Act The Apex Releases an Expansive, Prog Rock Take on Jazz Fusion

With the release of last year’s debut EP Here Comes The Apex, the Rome-based jazz rock/jazz fusion trio The Apex — Francesco Carrreti (guitar, production). Francesco Ferilli (bass) and Danilo Ombres (drums) — quickly established a songwriting approach and sound inspired by Weather Report, Miles Davis, Robert Glasper, Squarepusher, Snarky Puppy and others.

While supporting their EP with live shows in and around Rome, the act spent the next year writing and working on the compositions that would eventually comprise their forthcoming full-length debut, Kick Me with arranger/producer Toni Armetta. The album’s latest single, the eponymously titled “The Apex” features guest spots from Javier Girotto (sax) and Banco del Mutuo Socorso’s Gianni Nocenzi. Interestingly enough, the expansive composition sonically — to my ears, at least — reminds me of a slick yet soulful synthesis of Nothing Like the Sun-era Sting, Return to Forever/the aforementioned Weather Report with a subtly prog bent.

New Video: French Post-Rock Trio Under Old Trees Release Cinematically Shot Live Session for Brooding “Crossed Moon”

With the release of their first two EPs. 2017’s self-titled effort and last year’s No Mist In This Place, the Besançon, France-based post-rock instrumental trio Under Old Trees features members with disparate musical backgrounds. And since their formation, the French post rock trio have developed and honed a sound inspired by Russian Circles, Red Sparowes and Explosions in the Sky.

The band’s third EP Kelo was released earlier this year, and the EP’s latest single “Crossed Moon” continues a run of brooding and cinematic material centered around an expansive song structure featuring a French horn-led intro, followed by shimmering guitars, a propulsive bass line and skittering, hi-hat led four-on-the-floor. Interestingly, the composition alternates between gorgeous and brooding melodic sections and headbanging hardness in a way that reminds me of German instrumental act Collapse Under the Empire.

The members of the French post rock trio released a cinematically shot live session of “Crossed Moon” in the French woods — with the band literally being under old trees.

New Audio: Vancouver’s Pannekoek Releases a Shimmering and Trippy New Single

Andrew Pannenkoek is a Vancouver-based musician, producer and DJ, who has a lengthy history of playing local punk and rock bands. The Canadian artist is the creative mastermind behind the new electronic music project Pannekoek, a project that can trace its origins to his long-held passion for experimenting with music software.

The Vancouver-based musician, producer and DJ has spent the past 15 years working as a bike messenger — but a recently embraced sobriety has allowed him to realize his passion and interest in electronic music. Interestingly, the project finds Pannekoek putting a modern, sophisticated and trippy twist on a unique blend of sounds he heard growing up as a child of the 80s — in particular TV shows, going to mall, listening to the radio and video games.

“Polyester,” Pannekoek’s trippy debut single is centered around layers of shimmering synth arpeggios, skittering beats and wobbling low end within an expansive and mind-bending song structure. Sonically, the playful yet cinematic track seems indebted to 70s synth disco and hip-hop — in particular, Giorgio Moroder, Kraftwerk and Afrika Bambaataa immediately come to mind.

Romain Deceunnick is an emerging Corisa-born, Paris-based multikdisciplinary artist. When he turned 19., he left Corsica to study graphic design — and by the time, he turned 21, he landed at a job at Canal +. While at Canal +, Deceunnick built up a profile as a go-to director of photography, editor and sound designer.

Inspired by a desire to travel the world. the Corsica-born, Paris-based multidisciplinary artist joined Canal +’s TF1 Reporting decision. During his four year stint with TF1 Reporting, Deceunnick became increasingly fascinated by how images can make the viewer feel something that they’re not used to seeing. In 2018, Deceunnick created his multidisciplinary project Blonde.Engie, a project which draws from his mutual passions into photography and music.

2020 has been a busy and prolific year for Deceunnick, who has released a couple of one-off singles, his full-length debut Isolate — and his latest single, the brooding “Passenger..” Centered around layers of shimmering synth arpeggios and thumping beats, “Passenger” sounds as though it could be part of the soundtrack of a post apocalyptic, John Carpenter-like movie.

Initially started as a studio project tracked by Mike Tallman at Color Red Studios, Denver-based funk act Gold Leader — Zach Jackson (bass), Thomas Jennings (guitar), Eric Luba (electric organ), Will Trask (drums), Alex Cazet (tenor sax) and Carrie McCune (trumpet) — has evolved into a collective of Denver music scene vets and friends, who also play in local bands like Mama Magnolia, Analog Son, ManyColors and others.

The Denver-based sextet’s latest single “Creeper” is a cinematic, devil-may-care bit of funk featuring a strutting bass line, expressive horns, shimmering guitar and glistening organs seemingly inspired by The Pink Panther. You can almost picture the quirky,. cartoon sleuth following the criminal through a bunch of comic set ups.

New Audio: Baltimore’s Native Sunz Release a Cinematic New Single

Baltimore-based production, engineering, licensing and sonic branding agency and collective Native Sunz — Frank “R.E.I.G.N.” Reed (songwriting, production, engineering and graphic design), STIXX (production), Lipp J. Allen (writer/artist) Jimmy “Jimmy Proton” a.k.a. “Astronomix” Cardo (writer, artist) — sources suitable tracks for a wide variety of contexts, including film, television, advertising campaigns, websites and more. While they work with a select group of composers and songwriters to create a unique (and growing) catalog of material with a decided focus on hip-hop.

With the release of the hypnotic, Frank Reed-penned “Ride 4 You,” the Charm City-based collective began to receive attention outside of their hometown. The track received video play on over 70 different regional outlets including Las Vegas‘ The Pulse Network, Rochester, NY‘s Video Hits — and The Bowling Network has aired the video at their 500 alleys across North America. They’ve also had their work played in rotation at MGM Grand Hotels and Casinos, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, and Caesar Palace Hotels and Casinos. Building up on a growing profile, the act opened for the legendary KRS One at Baltimore’s Ram’s Head Live back in 2016.

Earlier this year, Native Sunz released an incredibly cinematic 16 track mixtape/soundtrack L’appel du Vide and the album’s latest single is the stunningly gorgeous “The Alliance.” Centered around a brooding string section and old school, tweeter and woofer boom bap beats, “The Alliance” sonically speaking is one part The Godfather, one part American Gangster and one part J. Dilla’s Donuts.

Live Footage: Reykjavik’s Óregla Releases an Expansive and Mischievous Single

Óregla is a rising, Reykjavik, Iceland-based jazz/progressive funk octet led by composer and trumpeter Daníel Sigurðsson that derives its name from the Icelandic word for chaos or irregularity. Featuring some of the country’s rising jazz musicians, the act is inspired by a diverse and eclectic array of influences including Igor Stravinsky, Miles Davis and Frank Zappa.

While Sigurðsson crafts compositions featuring arrangements centered around a brass section consisting of two tenor saxophones and a trumpet, guitar, bass, keys, drums and some bursts of orchestral percussion, the members of the act aim to push the boundaries of their music and sound with a funky and lively atmospheric and a sense of humor.

The act released their latest album Þröskuldur Góðra Vona (The Threshold of Good Hopes) earlier this year, and the album’s latest single “Don’t Quit Your Day Job” is a expansive track, centered around rapidly changing and very odd time signature changes as the song progresses — and some deft playing, that alternates between mischievous playfulness, contemplation and a breakneck swing.

The live footage features the band performing “Don’t Quit Your Day Job” at Tónkvísl for Reykjavik Sessions back in 2014.

New Audio: Argenteuil, France-based Composer P’pa Carpenter Releases a Surf Rock and Action Film-inspired Composition

Romain Carpenter is a 63 year-old Argenteuil, France-based nurse, multi-instrumentalist and composer, who ten years ago taught himself a little bit of guitar and bass, following a childhood dream of becoming a musician. In the past decade, the self-taught Carpenter has written compositions that draw from Spanish music, surf rock and 60s rock under the name P’pa Carpenter.

His latest single, “Bullitt Rock” as he explained to me was inspired by the famous chase sequence in Peter Yates’ Bullitt, because “the directors had not planned it.” The composition is centered around a looping, bluesy guitar line, a simple yet propulsive rhythmic backbeat, some expressive horns and twinkling keys, which gives the track a cinematic quality — while being a lot of fun. Sonically, it owes a little bit of a debt to the 1960s Mission Impossible TV series theme, but that shouldn’t be surprising, as “Bullit Rock” conveys fast-paced, white-knuckled action.