the unity sextet – the unity sextet

The Unity Sextet - The Unity Sextet coverIt’s not uncommon for producers to team up with experienced live musicians, the examples are way too many to mention
. Usually it ends up in featurings, sometimes in full-length releases, but most of the time the result does not sound like a 50/50 collaboration. Having musicians beef up the sound of an established producer is never a bad thing, but the real magic happens when the instrumentalists are actually incorporated into the tracks in stead of merely playing over something pre-produced.

 

Although jazz has been around for over a hundred years, mentioning the genre still somehow makes people, who focus on other genres, frown. Far too often the word ‘jazz’ is made synonymous with off-putting rhythms and way too intricate and dissonant solo’s, making it seem to intellectual to enjoy. On the other hand, when mentioning that something is ‘contemporary’ to jazz fans, I sometimes find they instantly think of early 90′s breakbeat-infused acid jazz, which to their ears is way too superficial to be enjoyed.

 

Stating it like that it seems fairly impossible to concoct a groove that will appease both listener groups. Unless you hook up a producer, that is already well known to utilize extensive compositions in his dance-oriented music, with a group of musicians that are already interested in shifting into a tad more easy-to-get type of jazz.

 

Last June one of these extraordinary fusions saw the light of day: 6 musicians of every spectrum of jazz teamed up with veteran Lack Of Afro, resulting in almost 55mins of liquid grooving pure contemporary jazz. It features the skill of practiced musicians, giving it that real oldschool jazz flavor, melted together with the production skill that makes it possible for something to sound dusted and fresh at the same time. On the one hand it’s obvious that the compositions are based on loops on which the instruments are laid down, but on the other hand it’s often hard to pinpoint where the hand-playing stops and the recording process takes over. This smooth blend in mixing also makes the whole release sound as if it were 1-take recordings of a band playing in a studio, in stead of a clean mixed down multi-track session.

 

The solo’s are solid and extensive, in a way that they are easy on the ears at all times. The overall sound is really warm and the loop-based bottom is so layered that a lot of variation takes place to keep your interest sparked. The Unity Sextet are Buddy Franco, Fats Young Jr., Cassius Farqhuar, Junior Oliver, Chuck Waldron, ‘Fat Thumbs’ Ronnie and Lack Of Afro. Get the album for $9.99 at Dusty Groove America, Soundcloud here and Twitter there.

 

daniel drumz – electric relaxation vol. 1 [download]

  • Daniel Drumz - Electric Relaxation vol. 1 cover
  • Ever since DJ Proces (what up Kamil!) introduced me to DJ 600V’s album “Szejsetkilovolt“ in the late 90s I’ve been amazed by Polish beat-music: Noon, CMY, Kixnare and ofcourse Daniel Drumz. While I was listening to the first ever mix I heard by Drumz, 2006′s “Electric Relaxation“, I decided to check out his website and […]

123mrk – refined madness ep

  • 123Mrk - Refined Madness EP cover
  • So summer finally arrived in NL, which means last week was filled with long evenings either on a café terrace or at backyard BBQs. It also meant shorts, shirts, clean kicks and not-sitting-behind-the computer-writing-posts. So to get back in the vibe I picked this little nifty 123Mrk EP called “Refined Madness”, which was released late […]

niwa – take you there

  • Ableton Bag black
  • A dear friend who recently moved to Berlin dropped by this weekend for a quick visit and gave me this really nifty Ableton padded bag as a gift. As I was walking around with it today I kinda felt like a douche because the bag obviously states ‘I do music’, and I feel my production […]

oby nine – weightless [download]

  • Oby Nine - Weightless cover
  • Just when I thought I was saturated with that 8-bit fake sound and could take no more, a link to Oby Nine‘s January release “Weightless” drifted by in my Facebook newsfeed (what up Maximoe!). Ok I never had a Nintendo Gameboy but I did grow up in the late 80s/early 90s a.k.a. the golden era […]

ill.gates – autopirate

  • Ill.Gates - Autopirate cover
  • Some people call cleanliness the ultimate virtue. They probably didn’t have audio in mind on that statement, but if they had, Ill.Gates aka The Phat Conductor would be declared a saint after his 2008 release called “Autopirate“.   Combine electro-hop, glitch, dubstep and funky breaks with a real crisp production style and you’ve got the […]

alexis davis – 3

  • Alexis Davis - 3 cover
  • I want to start off by thanking the Expansions Collective for dropping this promo in our inbox. Of course we always feel blessed by all the promo’s we get, no matter who sends it or whether it fits the site. But when I read that Alexis Davis isn’t actually one guy but 4 of my […]

iamichi – edit:one [download]

  • HeartsBeats filler image
  • Time to drop a personal favorite mix of mine: “Edit:One” by Ichi, who was known as DJ Irie when he did the set back in 2001. I can’t really recall where I got this, but seeing the release date and the ultra-laid back vibe I’m sure I have to credit Mentz.   Returning readers are […]

electronic explorations – ee compilation

  • Electronic Explorations -EE Compilation cover
  • Hey readers! I would like you to take a second off the music, and turn that second in a couple of minutes to think about all your favorite music-oriented blogs/podcasts/netlabels/e-zines/etc. What- or whoever your favorite is, you can be certain they started out small, doing what they do because of the love for the music. […]

adam f – colours [classic]

  • Adam F - Colours cover
  • Since music is timeless and quality does not deteriorate throughout the years, let’s shed some light on albums that we consider classic now and then. Starting with the drum & bass crossover “Colours“ album by Adam F.   Although the album is classified as drum & bass (intelligent if you want to box it), it’s […]