Kinkajous - Cloud Four (Werkha Remix)
Innovative nu-jazz outfit Kinkajous prepare to envelope us in their immersive, mesmerizing sound world with their powerful and introspective new EP, ‘Staring At The Odds’, set to drop 10th June 2016.
Since the release of their eponymous debut EP in 2014, which received the support of BBC 6Music’s Gilles Peterson, the group – principally made up of Adrien Cau, Benoît Parmentier, Layla Kim, Rick Tipton and Richard O’Connor – has been touring in France and across the UK. With standout performances at Secret Garden Party and Kendal Calling as well as supporting the likes of Soil and ‘PIMP’ Sessions in a sell-out show at London’s Jazz Café, they have proved themselves to be a tour-de-force on the live circuit with their distinctive sound, which can be heard across their latest EP.
The release kicks off with the swirling synths of ‘All Kinds’ – which premiered on Stamp The Wax – Cau’s emotional clarinet flirting playfully with listeners’ ears, before Parmentier’s pattering jazz drums open up to provide the perfect backdrop to a noir-esque trumpet solo from Mathieu Haage reminiscent of the likes of Christian Scott and Tomasz Stanko. The repetitive percussion and melodic bass of ‘Intro’ are offset by twinkling synths which echo across the song, leading neatly into the supernatural outer space feel of ‘Cloud Four’. This track provides the embodiment of the group’s quest for new sonic highways, without denying their profoundly obvious love for jazz. With production unmistakably inspired by experimental multi-genre musician Flying Lotus, the delicate drums and soothing tones of the clarinet complement the warmth of O’Connor’s bass riffs, whilst starkly contrasting with the intensity of the discordant synths laid down in their tight production.
Penultimate track, ‘When The Silent Eye’, calls to mind Portico Quartet meets Snarky Puppy. Opening with relaxing rhodes riffs from Kim, oozing with emotion, alongside rhythmically laid-back drums that are interspersed with an almost alien cascade of electronic synths and traditional jazz composition, colliding to create a delightfully rich soundworld. The EP is rounded off by the perfectly layered shimmering cymbals and pattering drums of closing track ‘Avahi’, which is also accompanied by a live video, where retro synths dance to the sound of the bass clarinet before crescendoing to a close with a last hurrah of swimming electronic production reminiscent of Bonobo’s ‘Animal Magic’ LP.
Mixed by the renowned Brendan Williams, whose past work includes releases from the 2014 Mercury Music Prize nominated Gogo Penguin, ‘Staring At The Odds’ represents the culmination of the last few years of Kinkajous’ musical development, drawing together the strength of their unique live performances and their expertly crafted production in what will surely be one of the most compelling releases of the year.