Moodyman/Pitch Black City - Black Mahogani 2

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(Mahogani Music/Creative Vibes)

This new offering from Moodyman under his Pitch Black City moniker, Black Mahogani 2, sees the Detroit deep house producer dive into some lush, dreamy sounds. It is the artist’s second excursion into ‘free’ jazz territory, and is characterised by whispery brush drums and cymbals, restrained bass and keyboard. Short and to the point, it is an aural adventure of but 35 minutes or so – enough to quench the thirst of the reformed techno-head seeking reform in the arms of Lady Jazz? Who knows…

Track one, When She Follows, is a loping affair – 18 minutes long and counting, a live, full-length extended version which drifts from instrumentals, plaintive saxophone and timbale to deliciously creepified vocals and back again. Moodyman’s inimitable production style lends his distinctive house flavour to the tune, but this is essentially a departure into experimental territory. Jazz aficionados will enjoy the occasional burst of jaaaaazz bluster and pomp that occur somewhere towards the end, but it doesn’t get too head-up-the-arse and complex for Joe and Jane average to enjoy.

Track two, Rectify, is more vocally driven and therefore, I think, more entertaining; similarly low, sighing vocals with a dark edge initially carried along by calm bass and fittingly tinkly piano. This track benefits from a beefing up of the beat, with some short, enthusiastic finger work on my favourite or all instruments, the impossibly cool double bass. Dirty Little Bonus Beats, track three, is simply another short instrumental number, while track four, When She, is a reprisal of the first track. This version has been treated with a heavier dose of Moodyman magic, with more twiddles and bleeps laid over the ‘right on’ vocals.

It has been dubbed ‘jazz for the techno generation’, which might not be too far off the mark. It is experimental and electronic enough to detract from the usual jazz posturing, but retains elements of classic jazz. but All in all, a tasty affair, even for plebs like this reviewer who generally have muted interest in jazz and all its cousins. If you feel like going on a short aural adventure with possibilities of smoky surrounds, sticky tables, the flash of ice from a frosty martini glass and the glint in an ice-queen’s eye, you will find this a very nice way in.

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