Category: instrumental

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.

Dapper Danger is an emerging, 24-year-old Atlanta-born and-based producer, whose influences include Lil’ Wayne, Outkast, Kanye West, Madlib and Pharrell Williams. After a lifetime as a music connoisseur, the young, emerging producer dove headfirst into learning music production last year. 2020 has been a momentum changing year for Dapper Danger: he stared his own label and with his continued musical evolution, he has high hopes for a successful and lengthy music career.

Last month, the Atlanta-born and-based producer released his debut EP, the six track, lo-fi instrumental beatmaker effort The Drive. The EP’s material is meant to provide listeners will a chill, laid back vibe for relaxation or a calm drive — with the EP sonically following a driver as they get into their car, hit the road and eventually arrive at their destination. The EP’s latest single, EP opening track “I Got This” is breezy, feel good track centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, finger snap-led percussion and stuttering beats. Dapper Danger describes the track as his “favorite song off the EP because of its high energy and the inspiration for the entire project.”

Continuing upon the momentum of the EP, Dapper Danger released two singles earlier tis month — “A Cloudy Afternoon” and “ITL.” He’s currently working on the follow-up to The Drive EP, which is slated for release later this year.

New Video: JeGong Releases a Slow-Burning and Meditative Visual for Atmospheric “Sowing dragons Teeth”

JeGong is a new krautrock-inspired, experimental act featuring MONO (Japan)’s and Watter’s Dahm Majuri Cipolla (drums) and Sum of R.’s Reto Mäder (synths). Slated for an October 16, 2020 release through Pelagic Records, the duo’s 14 song full-length album I reportedly finds the band using krautrock to push themselves, and their songwriting approach into new territories — with the album’s material featuring elements of ambient, experimental rock, krautrock, post rock and electronica. The end result is an album centered around ambient soundscapes and repetition that sounds like the soundtracks to Blade Runner and Metropolis.

The album was written and recorded remotely with Mäder recording instrumental parts at Hinterzimmer in Bern, Switzerland and Cipolla recording drums at BC Studio with Martin Bisi, where it was partially mixed. Additional mixing took place in Finland with Jaakko Vitalähde.

“Sowing Dragons Teeth,” I’s latest single is a minimalist, slow-burning and atmospheric track centered around repeating shimmering synth lines, taut yet propulsive drumming, gurgling and hissing feedback and subtle blasts of guitar. The track sounds as though it should be part of John Carpenter-like movie soundtrack — but while featuring subtly morphing throughout the entire song, “We wanted to have a song that is constantly changing in form and density. A song structure like a maelstrom or a growing plant focusing on our two main instruments, analog synthesizers and drums, the members of JeGong explain in press notes. “The theme of the song goes well with the film scene in Blade Runner 2049, in which a meager little flower in a field of ashes becomes a sign of hope.”

The recently released video for “Sowing Dragons Teeth” is the second part of a trilogy focused don a dystopian world that collapses and is eventually recreated by another species with a monolith as a memorial for the previous world.

Brian J is a New Orleans-based multi-instrumentalist and Grammy-nominated producer, best known for his work as the bandleader and frontman of the party rock road warrior act Pimps of Joytime. He also has a Grammy-nominated country blues collaboration with Cedric Burnside. Interestingly, Brian J’s latest recording project Gitkin was conceived as a way for the Pimps of Joytime frontman and producer to “explore tonalities I’d never mess with,” as he puts it. Eventually,. the instrumental project became a release from “having to write lyrics or involve my voice,” Brian J explains.

With the release of Brian J’s 2018 Gitkin debut, 5 Star Motel, the Pimps of Joytime frontman, multi-instrumentalist and producer quickly established a style that he has dubbed “Outernational Psychedelic Twang.” Drawing from a wide range of sounds and styles including Peruvian Chicha, 60s Pakistani surf rock, 5 Star Motel‘s material was centered around expansive arrangements, featuring dynamic guitar playing and hand-clapping grooves. And with a backing band featuring an impressive collection of players, Gitkin has built up buzz playing exclusive and spirited shows in San Francisco and NYC.

Recorded at this New Orleans-based home studio, Brian J’s sophomore Gitkin album Safe Passage reportedly finds the multi-instrumentalist and producer expanding upon an already rich sonic palette with melodies informed by Greek and Middle Eastern modalities, Peruvian Chica and Tuareg Saharan guitar styles — with the end result being a mix of stomping blues and gritty funk. “Nosotros Tambien,” Safe Passages‘ latest single is a gritty and funky track featuring a looping and bluesy guitar lines, twinkling Rhodes, dense Afrobeat and Afro pop-inspired polyrhythm within an expansive, mind-bending arrangement. Centered around a dusty, unfussy yet deceptively anachronistic production, the cinematic composition sounds like a warm synthesis of Expensive Shit/He Miss Road-era Fela Kuti and Tinairwen.

Wonderwheel Recordings will be releasing Safe Passage on September 18, 2020.

Color Red · Death by Dub – Kibosh | Color Red Music

Led by founding members and creative masterminds Dan Africano and Scott Flynn, the Denver-based act Death by Dub is a deeply collaborative effort between its founders and a collection of the Mile High City’s finest players, in which everyone equally contributes  their input and talents — typically during the studio sessions, with the studio being an integral part of the project.

The Denver-based act’s latest single “Kibosh” derives its name from the death hood, a condemned prison would hear leading up to their beheading. Centered around a mournful and lyrical horn melody, shimmering Rhodes, stuttering riddims and reverb and delay-drenched dub effects,  the track evokes the slow walk a condemned prisoner would take to the gallows, before ending with a slow fade out. The single will appear on the band’s forthcoming EP Resurrection, which is slated for an September 18, 2020 release through Color Red.



Color Red · DJ Williams’ Shots Fired – “The Last Chance” | Color Red Music

Over the past few months, I’ve spilled a bit of virtual ink writing about the Plainfield, NJ-born, Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter, composer. producer, guitarist and bandleader DJ Williams. Throughout his nearly two decade career, Williams has developed and maintained a reputation for being both incredibly prolific and for being a highly sought-after collaborator: the Plainfield-born, Los Angeles-based artist is the founder of the Richmond-based band DJ Williams Projekt; the hip-hop/R&B act The Breaks; the acoustic duo Williams & Jones; and he’s probably best known for playing in the critically acclaimed, San Diego-based funk/jam-band act Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe.

Unsurprisingly, as a result of his various creative projects, Williams has toured around the planet, playing in clubs of all sizes, as well as the international festival circuit, playing some of the largest and most prestigious festivals across the US, Canada and Europe — and he’s shared stages with the likes of John Legend, Dave Matthews Band, John Oates, Warren Haynes, Ivan Neville, Big Daddy Kane, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Soulive, Levon Helm, Slightly Stoopid, Robert Randolph, Slick Rick and a growing list of others.

Interestingly, as a singer/songwriter, composer and bandleader, Williams’ work is generally centered around compelling melody, an eclectic musical palette and deliberate and careful songwriting, revealing his desire to push new sonic and stylistic boundaries. Now, as you may recall, the Plainfield-born, Los Angeles-based artist’s latest project DJ Williams Shots Fired features members of Dave Matthews Band, Lenny Kravitz‘s backing band, Slightly Stooped, Trey Anastasio Band, Lyrics Born, Soulive, Greyboy Allstars and others — including Dan Africano (bass), Kowan Turner (drums), Joe Tatton (electric organ), Scott Flynn (trombone), Nick Gerlach (sax) and André Mali (trumpet) and a rotating cast of collaborators and associates.

Building upon a growing profile, the act’s forthcoming effort is a concept effort conceived as a four-part soundtrack for an imaginary movie is slated for a Fall 2020 release through Color Red Records. So far I’ve written about two of the EP’s singles. the ambitious yet funky “Iron Fist,”  which features elements of psych rock, jam band rock, arena rock and funk depicts a character known as “The Samurai,” represented through Williams’ slashing guitar work —  and “Sunset Trails,” a strutting, hip-hop inspired take on Ennio Morricone/Spaghetti Western soundtracks that was written as a homage to the black and white Westerns a young Williams used to watch with his father. The EP’s fourth and final single is the strutting and upbeat banger “The Last Chance,” which is centered around a bluesy guitar line, enormous horns and a breakneck backbeat. “This track is the 4th and final vision of this cinematic series representing the Villain. I hope to do something like this once again just because of the challenge and how much fun it was to complete from beginning to end,” Williams says in press notes. “We got the exact sound I wanted from Color Red too!”