Tag: 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.

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.