Cobblestone Jazz – The Modern Deep Left Quartet review

Artist: Cobblestone Jazz
Title: The Modern Deep Left Quartet
Label: K7
Genre: Deep House
Format: 12″, CD, Digital
Buy From: Juno Records (12″, CD), Juno Download

This second album from the former trio (now permanently joined by fourth member The Mole) sees Cobblestone Jazz refine the process and sounds from their debut 23 Seconds. Though rooted in minimal techno, the group take a much more free and improvisational approach to recording, something that bears fruit almost immediately on “Sun Child” which combines the slick Rhodes piano sound of Bob James with paper thin claps and live cymbals to give the tune a vitality seldom heard on rigid minimal.

“Mr Polite” is a great lesson on how to use vocoders to devastating effect – repeating a mantra-like refrain as instruments join in around it. “Children” on the other hand is sparse and edgy with shakers and hi-hats to the fore. Stepping away from techno rhythms briefly, “Midnight Sun” slows the pace right down and creates a dreamy soundscape around some distant and seriously warped vocals – a combination that’s as beautiful as it is intriguing. Though Cobblestone Jazz’s approach is different to most, don’t let the methodology fool you – it’s still a minimal dance record through and through, albeit with some brilliantly fresh ideas and sounds.

Review: Oliver Keens