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Slightly Askew ( CD )

Chris Bowden-Slightly Askew
12 €




2002    Chris Bowden  
Jazz dub Ninja Tune
Tuotteen kuvaus:  
Only Angst
Crockers & Killers
Zoo Zoo
W'p De f'n doo

Press Release:
Chris Bowden - 'Slightly Askew'

"Anyone who thinks 'jazz' is a dirty word should be forced to listen to Chris Bowden,
he is jazz for the next generation" - The Wire

These sentiments reverberate when engaging Chris Bowden's groundbreaking new release, 'Slightly Askew'. This fresh and eclectic album displays Bowdenís powerful playing, awe-inspiring imagination and unique way with a string arrangement on a extraordinary adventure that draws on elements of Jazz Fusion, Latin Jazz, Classical, Soul, Funk, Big Band and Broken Beats. Angular harmonies contrast the soul like passages, impressionistic and rich toned strings counteract the serious drum íní bass and funk elements while the tempo changes act as catalyst for his rhythmically compelling and harmonically rich artistry.

Having emerged from the acid jazz boom, Bowden has since risen to wide critical acclaim, performing with Talking Loud's K Creative, James Mason, Doug Karn, Basement Jaxx and as a member of The Herbaliser whos "Something Wicked This Way Comes" is currently delighting the press corps. In 1996, his group and self-titled album ëTime Capsuleí heralded crossover success for Chris Bowden, establishing him as an artist in his own right. He lent his considerable arranging talents to 4Hero who repaid the favour by remixing his first outing on Ninja Tune, the 12" 'Beautiful Nasty' - a swinging, complex funky breakbeat combined with mournful double bass, angular string lines and a typically compact and soulful sax solo.

This vinyl only release was given the full Ninja treatment and carried Chris' unique take on jazz into the hip, dance and mainstream press. 'Slightly Askew' continues the theme, and Bowden's distinctive 'take no prisoners' approach is evident all over this multidimensional album. Only four tracks long, yes four, and each track lasting an average of nineteen minutes, the trademark sonic sculptures of 'Time Capsule' are still there - four epic studies in harmony and counterpoint whose themes are deconstructed to their minimalist origins before mutating into something wholly new.

Only Angst kicks in like 100mg of adrenalin, a mad brash big band sound dropping in samples and screaming horn solos, forcing us to examine the preconceptions of our musical reference. Itís a hypnotic swirl of brass and beats resemblant of Art Ensemble of Chicago that speeds around the bloodstream, oscillating between confusion and amazing clarity.

With broken beats, mesmerising vocals and an unusual 13/4 time signature, Crockers & Killers is the album's stylistic signature tune - an immense collage of heroic horn lines, rich toned strings and delicate piano stylings. The impressionistic use of strings (not dissimilar to classical chamber music), the myriad tempos, haunting bass lines and bold mixing of brass and woodwind provide the perfect backdrop to soulful vocals. The samples and sequences simply enhance what's there already. Similarly, Bowden somewhat sparingly takes to his saxophone to embellish a phrase, but his virtuosity is ever-present.

On ZOO ZOO Andy Hamill and Tom Gordon lay down a 70's space funk vibe, a slow jam tempo and a fat drum break. Harmonically complex, with an awesome slap bass - if it were any deeper he'd be underground - Bowden creates a soundtrack feel similar to label mates Cinematic Orchestra in an emergent jigsaw of tone and timbre.

W'p De f'n' doo would please the gamut from fans of 'dinnerjazz' to the sweat-soaked dancefloor of Casa Latina. With its cheeky riffs, the funky and upbeat W'p De f'n' doo showcases a more urban raw sound on the sax - Bowden paying homage to jazz hornography - soaring over piano riffs and a hyper drum score, before wormholing out into the future.

Playing out this summer Bowden's band has slimmed down somewhat since the 12-piece Time Capsule, but whether as trio, augmented by string quartet or with the full DJ club package, it is one that reinforces his urban and musical idioms and will only enlighten, surprise and delight a listener, from whichever musical continuum they come. For now he has created an album of importance, an album of the year and a musical insight into the future. Opening doorways to new possibilities where before there was only void.