Peshay

Generation

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On Generation, drum and bass legend Peshay underscores the various themes and genres he highlighted on the three-track EP of the same name earlier in the year; in fact, all of those tunes appear here. The big shift for the artist isn't so much in experimenting with musical styles -- he's done plenty of that in the past -- but these two dates mark his first time working with live instrumentalists. One highlight is opener "Bronx Life," with its wash of nocturnal, fingerpopping atmospheres which wed Donald Byrd & 125th Street N.Y.C. project to latter-day Weather Report and mid-'70s Quincy Jones. To recap, three EP tracks are offered here: "Midnight Express," with its strings, hard bassline, wah-wah guitar, and big brash horns is reminiscent of the soundtrack funk laid down by Johnny Pate; "Kickin' It with the Piano Trio" is almost straight-up hard bop, while "Seville," with its tough Latin piano vamp, weds montuno to modern dancefloor grooves. New here are tracks like "Indigo," a fascinating collage of exotic library music, polyrhythmic funk, and post-bop jazz woven through with a wash of strings that confronts the clattering snare, Afro-Cuban piano riff, and rolling bassline. "Sundown" is a quiet stunner highlighted by fl├╝gelhorn, flute, break snares, and whispering cymbal washes as tenor saxophone winds through the ether to the fore. This leads into the ingenious, jazz house-cum-post-bop soundtrack feel of "Solar." Most of Generation is indeed based in post-club sounds and textures as it unapologetically hints back to earlier times. But Peshay's ability to layer spaces with dynamics, and weave synthetic and organic sounds seamlessly, makes this set one of his most appealing and possibly timeless offerings.

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