Afternoons in Stereo -- Soul Sugar
Catalogue No: TMDG 106
Release Date: 20 August 2012
Media: Digital & Special Edition CDR -- Virtual Vinyl
After a well-earned hiatus, Canada's Afternoons In Stereo returns with an astounding EP of new music that will immensely satisfy fans old and new, embracing the sounds of modern jazz and electronic funk while driving the musical momentum forward with both fervency and focus.
The title track, 'Soul Sugar', sees Afternoons In Stereo going deep into breaks-driven territory. Groovy organ and lush rhodes keys rise to the center point, the nexus where the saxophone descends into a shudder of feedback and distortion before returning to the addictive groove. With a nod to classic hip-hop stylings, the song takes it's mesmerizing aural palette and laces it with a dose of old-school funk reminiscent of classic instrumental hip-hop in the vein of The Beastie Boys, Madlib, and RJD2. A forward-thinking groover, 'Soul Sugar' sets the bar high for what follows.
On 'Driving To Montenegro' we hear Afternoons In Stereo continue to explore more organic instrumentation and recording while working within the parameters of digital production. Musicians jamming together in a room is what gathers at the core of the tune, where funky guitars wiggle-waggle and a warm organ underpins the whole affair before ascending alongside some sterling horn work and stellar live drums. Fans of the last two Afternoons In Stereo albums will see a logical evolution here, as the producer continues to uniquely explore the point where contemporary electronic-based music fuses with a more traditional, 70's-influenced funk.
Followers know that one of the hallmarks of the Afternoons In Stereo sound is jazz, and it's these attributes and traits that get bent into new shapes and forms on 'Blow'. A moody piece in the tradition of classic downtempo and nujazz, the song brings an almost European sensibility that conjures to mind rainy cobblestone streets and late-night conspiracy under the foggy haze of gaslights. Upright bass and some extensive horn solo's lay down the jazz foundation alongside rolling organs and seductive flute, while hushed jazz drums keep the rhythm off-kilter before erupting into a flurry of ride-cymbal and snare. Some genuine authentic synthetic hybrid, indeed! The overall cinematic undertone brings to mind the style and intrigue of classic film noir, rendered in deep shades of black and white with passion, lust, and just a hint of menace.
Finally, to close out the new EP we're proud to have Hannover-based producer Mr Confuse. He brings his distinct production skills to reworking 'Driving To Montenegro'. Mr Confuse has quickly established himself as a talented and in-demand producer in the funk/breaks arena. Here, he inverts the original track and wraps it around a hypnotic organ riff and new rhythm track that's all swing and bounce. With a subtle funk, the remix moves from spare swagger and snap to a deeper, spacier groove that incorporates new instrumentation including sax and accordion. Stripping the original tune down to it's sexy core, Mr Confuse brings a completely distinct interpretation to the track, opening it up to an alternate version that perfectly compliments the original.
Afternoons In Stereo follows up this EP with a new full-length collection of remixes in late 2012 and a brand new studio LP in winter 2013!
All songs mastered by Angelos Timewarp Stoumpos.
File Under: BROKEN BEAT / NU JAZZ / FUNK / SOUL
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