Dusty – Keep It Raw EP
Jazz&Milk label head Dusty has a brand new EP out now on vinyl, and then also out digitally on 1st October – it’s called Keep It Raw, and frankly, it’s immense.
Jazz music has influenced an unfathomable plethora of genres and artists over time, but in recent years – minus straight up contemporary jazz – the influences have been just that… influences, floating somewhere under the track playing second fiddle to a break-beat or hip-hop rhythm. I still haven’t fully consumed the notion, but Dusty has served up something quite intriguing with the Keep It Raw EP on his Jazz&Milk label from Germany. It appears that this EP is jazz, with a modern breakbeat/nu-jazz influence, rather than the (aforementioned) ‘other’ way round.
A1. Keep It Raw
B1. Loco Para La Pista
B2. Tap Tap
The first, and title, track Keep It Raw starts with a mean double bass and then some sharp percussion featuring congas. The brass enters along with some vocal samples and then it is straight into the main break. This is infectious and perhaps how one might have liked a modern Miles to sound. A more contemporary sounding breakdown occurs with electronic elements, and then it is straight back into the classic sound. Both elements, contemporary and classic, have been executed in a flawless manner to create a smooth yet raw composition. There are no gimmicks present here whatsoever – this is wholesome stuff that goes far beyond a mere cap-doffing to the school of old. If jazz was ever forced, kicking and screaming, into the twenty first century, then this is how it should be done.
Voodoo is the second track on the EP and gets straight to it with a guitar and samba style beat. This is a builder and adds multiple levels of percussion through out as well as a few samples. The bassoon enters soon after and the beat becomes more frenetic – this could draw comparisons to work by Dr Rubberfunk and perhaps to a lesser extent Mr. Scruff.
mp3: Dusty – Voodoo
Next is Loco Para La Pista, a very upbeat latin affair that would be sure to drive the dance floor wild. This is carnival jazz – a pure culmination of raucous rhythms and hypnotic melodies, accompanied by a deep bassline and a high energy brass ensemble. If this doesn’t get those hips moving then perhaps you are paralysed or something. It’s very evident that this is an extremely well arranged track, all the right sounds are in all the right places – it’s highly energetic and deliberately busy, but no sound engulfs another at the expense of the total composition.
The final track on the EP is Tap Tap. A beautiful blend of keys and clarinet brings us to an electronic bassline and then a tight conga arrangement. This builds up to horn stabs accompanied by a wicked melody and frantic rhythm. The immense clarinet section orchestrates the initial break down before it is laid bare to just a mean drum break and some double bass. Then it is straight back into the full ensemble; congas, double bass, keys, brass, and our good friend the electro bassline. Like the other tracks on the EP, no instrument or sound appears to be out of place – it’s exquisite.
Wow, what an EP! It feels good to be able to confidently report that this will most definitely grab the ears of fans of both jazz-elements and also hardcore jazz afficiendos – and pretty much anyone that falls anywhere in between the two. It certainly bodes very well for the upcoming full LP of the same name, Keep It Raw, due out 25th October on Jazz&Milk.
Those Jazz&Milk dudes are really keeping themselves busy at the moment! Plus right now, for all you creative types, you can design a milk carton design over at the Jazz&Milk website and the best designs will be printed up for the Milk Carton Exhibition as part of the 3-year Jazz&Milk birthday celebrations to be held in Munich on 4th October. Anyway, I’m off to fetch my crayons!