Thursday 21 June 2018

'Naphta and The Shamans' by Naphta

The brilliant Astigmatic Records describe their approach to sourcing new music as "without any genre limits but with a strong focus on emotions and quality".  It's an incredibly apt way to describe the dynamic range of the relatively young vinyl label's discography thus far...

Earlier this year we celebrated the release of Surly's 'Trip To Warsaw EP' which acted as Surly's homage to Polish jazz music while still embracing a multitude of styles including hip-hop, jungle and drum & bass; before that we were treated to the exquisite debut album from Polish jazz septet, EABS, whose personal interpretation of jazz music was honed by classic cinematic compositions just as much as by the hip-hop production techniques of J Dilla and Pete Rock.

And now Astigmatic Records can include this stunning sophomore project from Naphta & The Shamans amongst its treasures.  Headed up by musician, DJ and producer, Pawel 'Naphta' Klimczak, this ten-track album carves a new lane for itself amongst the Astigmatic catalogue that could be described as being somewhat inspired by the short-lived German Krautrock style of music from the late-1960s.  The Krautrock style drew from a variety of genres including psychedlic rock, avant-garde electronic music, funk, jazz and world music styles... styles that Naphta cites as inspiration for his own efforts but the inclusion of a dub and ambient aesthetic is what takes the project to its own cosmos.

Starting with 'Dim Daybreak' and concluding with 'Pale Dusk', the album represents a journey and a story with a narrative open to the individual's interpretation and it's a project Naphta his managed to realise with the help of some incredible musicians including label-mates Vojto Monteur and Pawel Stachowiak from EABS.  Highlights include the opening 'Dim Daybreak', 'Thom's Beach' and 'Frozen Paths' but you'd be hard-pressed to find a bad note amongst this innovative and imaginative release.

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