Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Cobblestone Jazz - 23 Seconds

In 2006 Cobblestone Jazz released two singles which became extremely popular, and spread way beyond their intended techno audience. The first, "Dump Truck", was a loose, jazzy techno track with constantly changing beats. It was light-hearted and fun, much like Gabriel Ananda's "Doppelwhipper". The second, "India In Me", was very different, with more traditional techno beats, eerie, repetitive, filtered keyboards and sounds, with a little dose of acid.

So the stage was set for the trio, Mathew Jonson, Danuel Tate and Tyger Dhula, who compose and play their music live in extended jam sessions, to release a full-length album. 23 Seconds will be out soon, and it follows on the pattern they've laid down before, of smooth techno beats and melodic lines.

The album begins with a brief opener, and the goes into the spacy "Hired Touch", which sounds like it could have been written any Detroit techno pioneer. It's a somewhat spooky intro.

Next is one of the 2007 singles that led to the album, "Lime In Da Coconut". The techno beats continue, but the keys get much more intricate, courtesy Tate, the group's keyboardist, who sidelines as a jazz musician and church organist (seriously). It's an arpeggiated, jazzy workout. Things get even jazzier with the next track, "Slap the Back", which doesn't really include slap bass, but is still quite funky with a lot of tweaking on the keyboards and bass.

They change gears with the next track, "PDB", which is a deep and sexy, saxophone-led techno monster. It's a long, beautiful glide. It's one of my favourite tracks on the album.

Next up is the title track, which may be the most experimental one of the album. It's jazzy and quirky at the same time.

"Change Your Apesuit" is traditional, funky techno, with a very nice bassline and an occasional twinkling keyboard line added for effect.

Then comes a shortened version of "Saturday Night", released earlier this year, that still sounds good. It has a funky bassline, with punchier percussion and prickly keys that are constantly sliding downwards. "Peace Offering" is somewhat similar, but definitely cheerier, with vocodered vocals hidden in the background.

The album ends with "W", which appeared on a Cocoon compilation earlier this year. Like "PDB", it's deep and sexy, with a funky bassline, again the vocodered vocals in the background, and lush, warm keys looping a melody over and over.

The second cd has their hits from 2006, "India In Me" an "Dump Truck". Then there's a 40 minute live set recorded in Madrid, which features many of the album tracks and is a great example of what live techno can be.

All together, it's a very solid package. If you liked "Dump Truck" or "India In Me", you won't have any problems with this album.

It will be out October 15 on !K7 and Wagon Repair.