Monday, 18 May 2009
PRE-ORDER: Overcast Radio - Midnight Sun/Vendetta [Surface Tension]
In recent months, those in the know have been keeping an ear out for Overcast Radio, known to his postman as Chris Jones. As rumoured, the Brooklyn-based artist steps up for Surface Tension’s second release with a unique jazz-take on bass music. Having graduated with the highest honours from a number of America’s most prestigious jazz institutes, Jones’ has so far earnt his crust by scoring films and TV shows, so unsurprisingly cinematic atmosphere is in abundance here.
Flickering bass stabs open 'Midnight Sun,' with a sole, longing trumpet soon leading out a rush of ambient-warmth. If Burial is the sound of South London by night bus, then Overcast Radio is the modern sound of the neon-lit streets of Scorsese’s Brooklyn by yellow cab – think Skalpel re-scoring Taxi Driver for Tectonic. The B-side, 'Vendetta' continues the smoky, after-dark vibe with saxophone licks gently swirling around strolling piano keys. A relentless bass hum adds some intensity, but like the flip, this is head not feet music.
When classically-trained musicians try their hand at producing electronic music their efforts tend to result in a deeper, more structured sound that often clearly separates them from the self-taught producers (check Paul Frick’s recent excursions into tech-house for another fine example). Anyone still reeling with disappointment about The Cinematic Orchestra’s output since 'Everyday,' or in fact just anyone with a passing interest in modern jazz or dubstep should seek this release out
Words: James Lawrence