Exploring between the lines never felt so intoxicating, in this beautifully dense and vibrant debut single.
The combination of jazz with house has been a formula that many musicians have been playing with, tinkering with and manipulating for decades now, its endless resource of inspiration constantly allowing for a new slant or version to be quietly explored. We see producers who utilise it for the complex rhythms and broken beat elements, or for its chordal elements that float within a sea of percussive wonderment. In many ways, it is a side of house that feels as if it has been constantly evolving since its inception during the 90s, the vibe and feel not something that is easily harnessed but when it is, it always leads to something overtly special. Within the jazzy realm, the composition of tracks always leaves the right amount of space for additional thought and new forms of expansiveness, whilst not going into the realms of the cosmos but more so delving into the furthest reaches of the concepts of keys and drums. These spaces have allowed for boundless interpretations to be conceived, and the contemporary scene is littered with musicians looking to create their own vision of the ideals of it all. Its the spatial awareness that always invites you in, its form and structure accommodating the listener who's mind wonders in a soft and welcoming way, always from the off.
What perhaps has not been overly explored is the idea of binding a over arching concept and experience to proceedings. 44th Move have perhaps achieved that through their name, named after a particular moment in a chess game between Chess Master Kasparov and Deep Blue in the late 90s. In that moment, man fell to machine, who's abilities to play chess finally pulled away from one of the all time genius' of the sport. With the referential name, the duo have crafted their debut single, released on the always excellent Black Acre imprint. The label has been pushing top quality music from across the board over the years, with some very distinguished guests coming through their doors. From Lurka, to Romare, to the Maghreban, Blue Daisy, Clap! Clap!, Dan Shake, Alfa Mist, Sydney and many more, the label operates within the ideals that music which accommodates always does the most effective kind of job. It's enticing, emotive and blessed with all the right kinds of rhythm, but also brings new ideas to the table each time, release upon release of diverse and top quality music. It feels fitting that 44th Move would make their debut on the label, and it very much encapsulates the overall ideologies that Black Acre wish to push out. A sense of impeccable rhythm, progressive soft chordal arrangements, a sense of depth that feels unparalleled, and a world crafted that brims with tones and flavours as far as the eye can see. Oh, and there's a Dan Shake edit to boot, what more could you ask for. So let's take a little dip.
Up first comes the title track, and we begin off with the arrangement laid bare. Slowly growing hats underlay the sweetest and most fluid of chordal movements, gently flowing between the strong as hell drum pattern that permeates underneath. From here, the kit becomes full, driving the track forward, as the keys diversify slightly, becoming more dynamic in their panning and range. As this occurs, the drumming fills more and more, incorporating a more dense fill, the keys becoming more rhythmic in their feel, responding to the drums and their constant little evolutions. As the track moves forward, the kit grows and swells, with light pads and chords beginning to really fill the room on top. In terms of an audial experience, there is nothing quite like it, a soft and overarching density that simply fills the spaces in your mind, moving all over until it reaches the point of giving yourself over to it entirely. The break down leads into keys abounding all over, before the light sequence permeates through, the kick joining back in, as the song picks itself up for one final push through to us. The drums are paired back enormously, allowing themselves for only the kick and light cymbals and hats, with the keys responding in kind, becoming very delicate in their application and mood. To provide two kinds of rhythmic and tonal experiences in one tune is superb, and allows us to see both sides of the duo's musical view of how the track can evolve from here. In many ways, it sets itself up perfectly for the Dan Shake take on things, which proceeds on the B side. The renowned selector and producer keeps the vibe going, bringing the kick that ended the previous cut into this one, the drumming patterns reflecting the enders in all its glories. The key arrangements swirl from the depths, continuing to grow with each bar and sequence. This then blends so intuitively into the main chord progression, that moves forward like a soft summery breeze, picking up various elements along the way that continually feed into this beautifully progressive tune. Shake really focuses in on the softer side of things, staying true to the powers that persisted in the original cut and really understanding and respecting the values of the track. As we meet the half way mark, this is when the track switches up into a very dense feel indeed, moving so softly between the lines, expertly exploring all it can in terms of tone and mood. The additional high line keys are a perfect addition, really adding in new lines of enquiry to the whole thing, and as a remix actually adds so much to the life of the original cut. Brilliantly done.
As debut singles go, this one really does announce itself with bravado and subtle sweetness. Both cuts emphasis the meaning of good groove, utilising a harmonic relationship between chordal arrangements and precise drumming patterns that just creates this exciting and vivid world for us to explore. The original cut in many ways rips up the rule book a little, as in it creates these more traditional structures but constantly adds small elements each time that keep the engagement levels very high. It's brilliant music, with a endless vision, and one that will bring some more outstanding tracks, we are sure of it.
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