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AFMB – Backup Days review

For their most anthemic outing yet, Drumpoet Community have turned to the most unlikely of sources: former Compost Records nu-jazzer Bernd Kunz, better known as A Forest Mighty Black. When Compost boss Michael Reinboth decided to launch his Munich-based downtempo/nu-jazz imprint in 1994, it was Kunz who provided the first release – the decidedly trip-hop-ish “Do-Ba-Ye”. In the early days of Compost, A Forest Mighty Black releases were a regular occurrence, but Kunz disappeared from view in 1999. While nerds will point out that he moved on to Detroit-influenced deep house sometime ago (he was part of the Lost Men, who released a trio of releases on Drumpoet Community in the late noughties) it’s still a surprise to hear him laying down such an unashamedly ‘big’ slab of uplifting, piano-centric late night jack.

With liberal use of cut-up vocal samples, soaring strings and dense percussion, it has a real classic New York house feel – albeit with a big dose of Underground Resistance thrown in. It’s undoubtedly the best thing Kunz has done yet. The more hypnotic “Nasty Imposition” continues in this vein, building a pleasingly trippy groove around dubbed-out electronic riffage, dense drums and delay-laden vocal snippets. While it doesn’t have the unashamedly euphoric feel of the A, it’s perhaps closer to what you’d expect from Drumpoet Community. It’s certainly wonderfully deep.

Matt Anniss