Paris-based Saxophonist and Composer Oan Kim To Release New Album Oan Kim & The Dirty Jazz, Out February 25, 2022

Fusing together his different musical influences, Oan Kim takes us on a journey of stylistic exploration with his new album Oan Kim & The Dirty Jazz. The former Film Noir and Chinese Army members’ new direction is jazzier and more experimental, whilst nodding to his past so far in contemporary classical music and electro-rock. Oan explains ‘ It was a deliberate decision to give the jazz saxophone a front position on what would otherwise be an indie music album’.

Writing, recording, and producing the record in his home studio in Paris, the multifaceted musician and filmmaker’s DIY approach allowed the tracks to evolve freely ‘without ever knowing where they would take me, operating almost in a vacuum of space and time gave me a lot of freedom’.

‘Pop music will never have that miraculous improvised flair of a good jazz solo, while jazz rarely has the enthralling efficacy of pop music. But who said music had to be as polarized as politics? So I wanted to bring together the best of both worlds.’

From the memorable motifs of ‘Agony’ to the atmospheric noisy sound, beds heard in ‘Smoking Gun’, and the free-flowing jazz saxophone of ‘Quintet’,  Oan’s music feels assured yet honest,  imaginative, boldly creative and daring. Also contributing to the album are acclaimed French jazz musicians Edward Perraud, featuring on “The Judge” and “Wong Kar Why,” and Nicolas Folmer playing trumpet on “Quintet,” “Symphony for The Lost At Sea,” and “Fuzzy Landscape.

Throughout the album, Kim takes influence from a range of artists including but not limited to Kurt Vile, Stravinsky, and James Holden, whilst taking note from classic jazz artists such as Miles Davis. On his style, Kim explains he puts himself ‘somewhere between Pharoah Sanders and Radiohead’.

Such influences can be heard throughout the album, with an array of different sounds and styles established. ‘Agony’, inspired by Cold War Kids, features a catchy ostinato with the piano neatly interplaying throughout. Further along, the album tracks such as Thelonious are more atmospheric, with intricate details and noises, and an emotive ambiance with delicate vocals to match. The track titled referring to his son’s second name (a homage to the great Thelonious Monk) is described by Kim as ‘like a lullaby’.

Having also worked as a photographer and filmmaker, receiving awards such as the Swiss Life 4 Hands AwardSilver Horn of the Krakow Film FestivalEmerging Documentary Filmmaker at DMZ festival, and more, Kim also takes inspiration from films throughout the album. Reflecting on his writing process, he explains ‘Hitchcock used to say: once you’re finished with the screenplay you can write the dialogues. I feel the same way about songwriting. The themes of each song come out of the music itself towards the end of the songwriting process.

With a visually-driven imagination, film references to Wong Kar Wai, Fight Club, and Naked Lunch emerge on the album. The first two singles from the project Wong Kar Why and Mambo also followed with music videos directed and filmed by himself. The video for Wong Kar Why? A documentary short described as a chronicle of a romance features candid shots of his wife Katherine that have been taken between 2016 to 2021 in various locations including Paris, Seoul, New York, and Marseille, described by Kim as a ‘video of a portrait of the person I met and fell in love with over the years.

A melting pot of sounds and influences, Oan Kim & The Dirty Jazz is sure to set Oan Kim as one of the most exciting talents to emerge on the jazz scene.

Cairo’s Maurice Louca Shares “Higamah (Hirudinea)” — From ‘ Saet El-Hazz (The Luck Hour)’ out 9/24 via Sub Rosa & Northern Spy

Genre: Arabic, Psychedelic Folk, Electronic, Free Improvisation
RIYL: Sun City Girls, Tortoise, Nadah El Shazly, Amirtha Kidambi, Don Cherry, Jaubi, Pharoah Sanders, Sunil Ganguly

Maurice Louca shares “Higamah (Hirudinea),” the second single from his forthcoming full-length album, Saet El-Hazz (The Luck Hour), out September 24, 2021, via Sub Rosa and Northern Spy.  At once cacophonous and cathartic, this psychedelic outro swirls across imaginary landscapes with a rich and melodic spirituality—it’s a good example of why Louca has been called the heart of Egypt’s thriving alternative music scene.

Saet el Hazz is a coded saying in Egypt to refer to a good time and usually implies a great deal of debauchery. “When you mention to someone that you’ve had a saet hazz, there are no questions asked. It is what it is.”

The initial spark for Saet El-Hazz was Louca’s desire to collaborate with “A” Trio, the Lebanese improvisational group featuring Mazen Kerbaj on prepared trumpet, Sharif Sehnaoui on prepared guitar, and Raed Yassin on prepared double bass. “When the three of them come together they create a sonic cosmos entirely their own. I started by composing music that I wanted to have existed within this sonic world—at times in harmony, or clashing with it, and all the emotional ranges in between.

Just as “A” Trio served as the spark, a commission from Mophradat, an arts organization based out of Brussels, was the tinder. The commission was for a new composition to be performed using instruments that Louca would modify to play microtonally. This led him to Turkey and Indonesia. In Istanbul, he worked with a Lutheran to custom-make a guitar. In Surakarta, he ended up with an instrument maker tuning a Serang—referred to as the Indonesian xylophone, part of the family of Gamelan tuned percussion instruments.

While the intention had been to render these instruments to play in the Arabic tradition of maqam, what Louca found was that the modifications opened up the composition to new tonal possibilities that were not necessarily rooted in any specific cultural tradition. He then expanded his lineup to include Khaled Yassine, a longtime collaborator and versatile percussionist and drummer, Christine Kazaryan, a dynamic harpist whom he met via Praed Orchestra, and Anthea Caddy, a cellist who came highly recommended from the Berlin free improv scene.

“Maurice Louca is a composer and musician who goes beyond Arabic jazz to create his own singular cross-wiring of evocative experimental music.” –Bandcamp Daily

“There is something about linking luck to decadence that resonates with me, and even if I can’t fully articulate it in words, the drive behind the music of this album and how it came to be, and the energy between us at the studio rehearsing and recording it, was in a lot of ways for me a saet hazz.”

Saet El Hazz is a long-form composition of six movements, recorded over the course of a week in August 2019 at A/B studios in Brussels. Preorder for Saet El-Hazz (The Luck Hour) is now available here.

Credits
Composed, arranged, and produced by Maurice Louca

Mazen Kerbaj – Trumpet/Electronics
Sharif Sehnaoui – Guitar
Raed Yassin – Double Bass
Anthea Caddy – Cello
Christine Kazaryan – Harp
Maurice Louca – Guitar

Featuring guest appearances by
Ayman Asfour – Violin on “Bidayat (Holocene)”
Devin Brahja – Alto Sax on “El-Gullashah (Foul Tongue)”

Album art by Maha Maamoun and Mohamed Gaber

Tracklist
1. El-Fazza’ah (The Slip And Slide)
2. Bidayat (Holocene)
3. Yara’ (Fire Flies)
4. Sa’et El-Hazz (The Luck Hour)
5. El-Gullashah (Foul Tongue)
6. Higamah (Hirudeinea)

Select Praise
“a dazzling, trance-like triumph.” –MOJO Magazine

“remarkable Egyptian indie collaboration is a triumph” –The Guardian (Five Star Review)

Links
mauricelouca.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/mauriceloucamusic
twitter.com/mauricelouca
instagram.com/mauricelouca

Listen to the single “HIGAMAH (HIRUDINEA)” by Maurice Louca

Album (Olivier Fairfield of FET.NAT and Simon Provencher of Victime) Self-Titled LP Out July 9, 2021, via Telephone Explosion Records

Album is the experimental glitch-groove duo of Olivier Fairfield and Simon Provencher, two tirelessly creative musicians working in the small but fertile community of Hull, Québec. Fairfield keeps busy as a drummer and producer with acts such as Last Ex and FET.NAT, whose 2019 album Le Mal was shortlisted for the Polaris Prize. Provencher has earned his own reputation as the guitarist of frenzied post-punk group Victime, bolstering their songs with an array of alien sounds and bizarrely shaped instruments. Though the pair’s various bands have shared stages throughout the past five years, Album’s fractured beatscapes are the fruits of their first proper collaboration.

Olivier Fairfield and Simon Provencher

Fairfield and Provencher began working on the music that would become Album’s debut album with a series of freeform jams in late 2019. The guitarist added fretless bass and heavily processed vocals to these improvisations, as the drummer integrated vintage sci-fi sounds with a DX7 synthesizer. The most exciting moments of these sessions were then used as the basis for sampling as they sliced and diced passages back together into an eerily futuristic electroacoustic patchwork.

“It’s hard to tell what’s computer music and what’s actually played,” says Fairfield. ”There were some elements left to chance and instances where we would throw ourselves in blind, then choose to use it. Instead of saying ‘ehhh, let’s not work with this’ our instinct was to say ‘this makes absolutely no sense, but let’s make it work.’ By keeping our foundation simple, the hybrid sound of what was played and what was created electronically started to mesh together.”

While it’s difficult to pinpoint any direct influences on these unclassifiable beat-driven collages, Album contains refracted echoes of experimental hip-hop and the jazzy acoustic elements of drum and bass producer Roni Size. Fans of genre-defiant Warp Records acts such as Seefeel and Squarepusher may also find something to enjoy in Album’s blurring of ambient waves, instrumental shredding, and clicky electronica. “We thought of the ’90s as a reference point, but not any specific artists,” shrugs Provencher.

The duo decided upon their band name after including it on an early draft of the cover art with ‘Album’ written as a placeholder. Song titles like “Google rap hommage” or “New and annoying” are meant to be equally bewildering, while others provide subtle hints at the sounds included within. “108 Mystical edit 2k20” drifts through sections of abstracted g-funk and trip-hop with incantory effects-drenched vocals, before “108 Percussion hits (au moins)” settles into a rare air of propulsive tranquility. “When I hear that song I feel like I walk into a room that’s somewhat normal and can hang out there for a while,” Fairfield laughs.

While countless musicians are now forced to collaborate remotely, the pair developed instrumental chemistry that can only occur by playing together in the same room. By recording their initial sessions like a jazz album with only a few microphones, they were able to capture an air-tight instrumental bedrock that rewards close listening. “That kind of sound is hard to manufacture,” concludes Fairfield. “If we recorded guitars with amps and drums in a huge room it would be hard to distill it into what it is now. Our approach was very dry, soft playing. Everything is in the details as opposed to the girth.”

Tracklist:

1. 108 Mystical Edit 2K20: 4:58
2. Présage Jazz: 0:34
3. New & Annoying: 2:31
4. Interlude: 1:11
5. Hommage å M. Cusson Pour M. Hoek: 2:34
6. Google Rap Hommage: 5:04
7. 165 Refrains: 2:24
8. 108 Y2K Voice: 2:38
9. 108 Percussion Hits (au moins): 4:53
10. Mood Allée Cinq: 2:53
11. La Derniére:


LABEL LINKS
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PromoJukeBox Clandestine Label Service

Austro-Bulgarian guitarist, Tomá Ivanov aka TOMÁ Announces His Lo-fi- Jazz-Psychedelic-Pop debut, ATOM [featuring Ben Lamar Gay, I Am Tim)

“ATOM” is the debut album of Austro-Bulgarian musician, Tomá Ivanov aka TOMÁ. With his avant-garde Lo-fi- Jazz-Psychedelic-Pop debut, the composer and guitarist asserts himself as a skillful and progressive state of the art producer. Influenced by the greats from the early Warp Records and Ninja Tune era (Squarepusher, Flying Lotus, Aphex Twin etc.) the Bulgarian-born artist began experimenting with electronic music production in his youth, only to then take a detour in form, as he followed an education in jazz music, which he completed in 2018. This characteristic musical diversity is present throughout his first album. He flawlessly blends the electronic spark of Stones Throw/Brainfeeder aesthetics with the distinguishing harmonic freedom of jazz and neo-soul improvisations, resulting in a trippy, sonic voyage. Elements of the classical LA-Beatschool are accompanied by lush strings, wind instrumentals, and wide-ranging vocal features.

 Austro-Bulgarian musician, Tomá Ivanov

The song “Catharsis” is a collaboration with the euphonious Austrian singer Lou Asril; a complex arrangement of strings, virtuosic vocals and a powerful beat, remind of a psychedelic James Bond soundtrack. The distinct counterpoint in the loaded harmonies, reveals Tomá’s versatile compositional abilities and evoke a baroque or classical atmosphere, which reappears in the somber tracks such as “Bad Dream”, “Wrong” and “Blind War”. In the latter track, experimental Chicago jazz-scene multi-instrumentalist, poet, composer and singer, Ben Lamar Gay, conveys a profound statement with his critical lyrics.

In contrast, the album’s opener “A Different You”, featuring New York rapper I am Tim, composed during the ghostly and yet freeing tranquility of the first lockdown, offers an aura of optimism. Even with the album’s vast stylistic range of electronic, jazz, hip-hop and psychedelic pop elements it preserves its coherence above all via its homogenous production and Lo-fi charm. The Californian vibe is further emphasized in the instrumental tracks “Green” (and its music video), “Brother” or “Water”. Despite the presence of a wide, international variety of classical and jazz artists, “ATOM” remains a personal album, a creative rebirth (an atomic rediscovery), and an intimate declaration on the universal language of music.

Musicians involved:

Andreas Tentschert (keys)
Štěpán Flagar (sax)
Martin Kocián (double bass)
Jakob Pressmair (bass)
Michał Wierzgoń (drums)
Lukas Handlbauer (drums)
Christopher Haritzer (clarinet)

~Courtesy of PromoJukeBox Clandestine Label Services