Wednesday 20 September 2023

'The Cycle Repeats' by KAU

Amassing a slew of single, EP and full-length releases over a comparatively short time, the Belgian trio of KAU unveil their brand new album in 'The Cycle Repeats'.

Initially introducing listeners to their sound via 'Beat Tape, volume 1' (2020), band members André Breidlid (drums), Matteo Genovese (bass) and Jan Janzen (synths) quickly established a no-rules approach to their compositions.  Through their fusion of various musical elements into the project, the punchy and concise release kick-started KAU's plans for world domination with releases unveiled each year since 'Beat Tape' was introduced.

With the trio's immeasurable talents now recognised by the Belgian label, Sdban Records - who have themselves been delivering to an incredibly high standard this year with the recent release of John Ghost's 'Thin Air . Mirror Land' as well as the upcoming release from Azmari with 'Maelström'.  All artists that wave the flag for invaluable contributions to Belgian jazz and the kind of top tier talent that KAU now find themselves sharing the proverbial stage with.

As noted improvisers, much of that associated energy is masterfully captured by the KAU trio throughout this album. With compositions continuing in their now synonymous vein of joyful exploration, the musicians seem to celebrate the luxury of the playground afforded to them over the course of 'The Cycle Repeats' – the slow build of 'Alaska' marks a distinct album highlight as does the unbridled energy of 'Amulet' and 'Kautokeino' that revel in the openness and obvious nods to broken beat reinterpretations.  The sublime 'Little Steps' takes the album down new hip-hop-inspired avenues once again rounding out the versatility of such a fantastic project.

'The Cycle Repeats' is an album bursting with an abundance of ideas and inspirations and such is the skill of Breidlid, Genovese and Janzen that they make what looks like incredibly intricate and overly-strategized compositions appear like the most natural music-making process possible.  

Throughout the album's eight tracks, we're introduced to glorious sonic soundscapes that are Herbie Hancock-esque in their fusion-inspired scope subsequently allowing KAU the confidence to draw from their various influences, like their passion for hip-hop and spiritual jazz, before ushering in a broken beat aesthetic that is increasingly becoming a signature sound for the trio.

Perhaps above all else, KAU have once again delivered not just an outstanding project but one that serves as a thrilling interpretation of 21st century jazz and its limitless, all-encompassing and boundary-less possibilities.

No comments:

Post a Comment