If you like it jazzual and forward-thinking, this EP from UR man Dixon is for you!
What we have here is only the fifth release in five years from 4EVR 4WRD, the label set up in 2015 by Underground Resistance member and world-class jazz musician Jon Dixon to showcase "hi-tech jazz" – basically, house/techno with a strong jazz influence. A release schedule like that tells you that the label are definitely pursuing a "quality, not quantity" approach – something that's immediately apparent on hearing this EP, too!
Times Of Change itself is up first, opening with shuffling drums before bringing in a nagging piano riff that's then augmented by long, lingering pads. Everything then shuffles along nicely until the arrival, at around the three-minute mark, of a virtuoso lead line courtesy of Detroit saxman De'Sean Jones, which gives the track something of a lounge-y feel. That's followed by Move 4WRD, which is more overtly dancefloor-oriented but also features a fine jazz-style female vocal courtesy of Britt Frappier. Beautifully Equipped comes next, a loop-y cut riding a near-bruk rhythm, before the EP's closed out by Troopcafe, a slice of deep Detroitian space-jazz that's truly sublime.
The latter is the standout for yours truly, but the old cliché that "writing about music is like dancing about architecture" definitely applies here, and you really need to check this EP out for yourself to get how good it actually is. So thank God for Souncloud embeds, eh?
Words: Russell Deeks
Release date: 31 July
Review Score: 8