Word of advice to aspiring artists and bands looking to get noticed by music blogs and websites: never underestimate the power of a well-crafted e-mail. I get bombarded with so many blast e-mails from PR, not to mention individuals just sending their albums to every place they can find that it takes a lot for me to take notice. But when someone actually takes the time to read something I’ve written, engage me in a conversation, and send me their material because they have a good feeling that it’s something I might be into based on what they’ve seen me write about and promote, then I am pretty much guaranteed to return the favor and take a few minutes to listen to it.
Such was the case when I found an e-mail from the Montreal-based electro-jazz fusion duo RVRSAL this past week. One half of that duo, Julien Renvoise, used our recent post on Nova Collective as an entry point and described his project and their debut EP as the kind of forward-thinking jazz fusion that I might be into. And you know what? He was entirely correct! RVRSAL’s first release, entitled Finding it and Losing it, is exactly the kind of blend of jazz influence with a host of other flavors that is guaranteed to grab my attention, and we are very pleased to be premiering it in its entirety below!
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/323068300″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]
Finding it and Losing it is a deft display of the kind of diversity that this kind of blend of electronic and acoustic instrumentation can offer. Opener “Factory Settings” sets the stage well with a solid spacey trip-hop groove anchored by a wobbly and crawling guitar line that wouldn’t sound out of place on the most recent Grails record. “Resistance,” with its squiggly synths, pulsating beats, jazz drumming, and brilliant splashes of horns and sprawling piano calls to mind a host of brilliant acts from Flying Lotus to the propulsive VIRTA, as well as similar artists blurring the line between live jazz performance and IDM such as Mark de Clive Lowe. The remaining four tracks follow suit, blending skittery electro-jazz, more groovy trip-hop, and the kind of excellent electronic duo collaboration that produced such an enticing mixture of cosmic ambience and more-grounded guitar work in the tragically short-lived Nicolas Jaar/Dave Harrington project Darkside. “Lonely Rover” in particular is a great example of this, as the track’s spacier mood and dirty bass synth is contrasted and complimented well by bluesy guitar riffs.
Finding it and Losing it offers more than enough reasons to warrant repeat listens, and it’s about as strong and promising a debut release as you’re going to find for this kind of jazz/electronic fusion. The band are currently offering downloads of the EP for free, which you can do through the Soundcloud embed above. If you find yourself enjoying it, you can follow the band through their Facebook and Soundcloud pages!