New Audio: The Genre Mashing Sound of spoony bard

David Nord is a jazz-trained composer and guitarist, who’s passion and interest in hip-hop and electronic music brought about a major evolution of his work, leading him to mesh the two styles in a way that allowed him to explore the possibilities of an alternate musical vocabulary and a new creative outlet, his solo recording project spoony bard, a project that derives it’s name from the final bit of dialogue in Final Fantasy IV — and it’s beloved by gamers because it’s both a goofy and terrible translation. In any case, as Nord explains in press notes, “Just playing jazz wasn’t cutting it anymore. I started hearing the L.A. beat scene stuff that was coming out and got inspired to really dive deeper into synthesizers, sampling, music software, etc., while also continuing to hone the harmonic and melodic approach that I had developed as a jazz musician. And as you’ll hear on the swaggering “vibe/void” off his spoony bard debut, Dweeb, Nord’s sound clearly draws from Flying Lotus, Dalek, DJ Premier, Aphex Twin, Head Hunters-era Herbie Hancock, old school drum ‘n’ bass electronica, and others, thanks to layers of glitchy synths squiggling and undulating electronics, sinuous bass and tweeter and woofer rocking 808 beats — all diced and chopped up, but paired with self-deprecating yet deeply introspective and honest lyrics delivered in a flow reminiscent of Atmosphere’s Slug. Interestingly, with “vibe/void,” the song’s narrator talks about a familiar experience to most creative types, who are forced to work a day job to survive — the feeling as though they’re leaving their creativity and individuality behind forever, for a pay check and a humdrum, office drone life. And throughout the song, the song’s narrator is desperate to escape, to get his life together and do everything within his power to live the life he’s long dreamed of. Shit, maybe some of us should take his advice, huh?