Jazz from Bristol: Lund Quartet

lundquartet

Discovering bands quite later has become a habit of mine lately. While I was listening to the jazz albums on bands, I came across Lund Quartet from Bristol and liked their sound as soon as I heard the first song in their self-titled album released in 2012.

Lund Quartet comprised of Simon Adcock on piano and theremin, Rob Childs on double bass, Sam Muscat on drums, and Jake Whitlin on turntables. Adcock and Whitlin met in 2005 and they first used Adcock’s jotted songs from previous years. “Lonn” was the first track they produced and then they decided to form an actual band. Adcock brought his friend Muscat and Muscat invited Childs to the band. Afterwards, they rented a car mechanic’s yard in 2010 and started building their own studio. From then on, they have been making music together and their first release is the self-titled album “Lund Quartet”.

The opener “Sequoia” is a charming chill-out song woven with Childs’ groovy rhythms, subtle use of electronics and attention-grabbing bass riffs. The repercussion becomes hypnotic and the spacey feeling comes into scene due to the understated use of turntables, especially echo treatments. Although the piano takes the lead in the middle, its ambient feeling doesn’t go away and one longs for the constant replay of the song. “The following track “Kulde” takes a more conventional and emotional approach but still keeps its ambient tone. While the piano is leading the song, the background is like a river of bass, drums, theremin, and Whitlin’s splashes of clarinet, trumpet and radio samples. The  African singer Miriam Makeba accompanies “Love’s Madness” with her Whitlin-sampled soulful vocals over a nice piano riff with a tinge of Latin. “Tulipan” is another piano-driven song which has an enjoyable melody backed with samples of brass and strings and flawless rhythms. “Lonn” flourishes with Adcock’s violin (and later the piano) on the groovy texture created by Muscat, Child and Whitlin’s funky and cheeky conversations. “Merula” follows the same pattern of “Tulipan”, being enjoyable but having a lesser ambient texture. The last track “Zill Bell” floats in Eno-esque waters, infusing a dark ambience into a classical piece. Being the most memorable piece in the album, it offers an unhurried and dream-like journey into Adcock’s delicate theremin and piano, Whitlin’s ethereal samples, Muscat’s scraping beats and Childs’ minimal bass riffs.

Lund Quartet has a Scandinavian jazz feel with its atmospheric and minimal approach, but without soloing. While Muscat’s drumming forms the core, Adcock’s piano and theremin flourish occasionally. Whitlin’s exquisite use of electronics and turntables is fresh and unpredictable with Childs’ solid bass riffs. Their way of exhibiting how they approach jazz with the tools at hand has led to fascinating and well-played pieces. All in all, it is a sheer, industrial and dark ambient album, hypnotising  as well as groovy. I am looking forward to their next album.

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