New Music: Vertaal // Drop Off (feat. Severin Bruhin & Loren Hignell)
Nu-Jazz duo Vertaal are back with their new single ‘Drop Off’. With the help of a couple of very welcome guest features, Vertaal bring intricate grooves and lulling atmospherics to what is a thoroughly enjoyable instrumental track and a must-add for anyone who takes pride in their Spotify playlists.
The track opens with a heavy processed strings sample, reminiscent of the Lo-Fi Hip Hop tracks that have found huge underground followings on Soundcloud in recent years. The track’s main groove follows, with the drums and bass both very much in the pocket. For what is a rather simple drum beat, things are kept fresh and exciting with busy flourishes on the hi-hats, toms and cymbals being regularly bounced off of. The bassline, for the most part, is simple, yet effective, and uses space wonderfully. The decision to hold the bass back means that when there are some technical and well thought out fills, they really do shine in the spotlight.
The track is punctuated by short unison turnarounds akin to ones used by bands such as Snarky Puppy and Hiatus Kaiyote, two of the biggest names in modern Jazz and Neo-Soul. A clave is brought in, along with chorus-ladened keys and clarinet to help create a rich sonic landscape. One that is all the while supported by the infectiously groovy rhythm section.
Nowadays it can be difficult to keep up to date with the new music genres that routinely pop up in conversations about the latest up and coming artists. Nu Jazz is no exception to this, but ‘Drop Off’ is a shining example of why it is such an exciting sub-genre with a lot to offer. The mixture of modern electronic and lo-fi sounds mixed with well-executed, technical Jazz musicianship is both refreshing and familiar. If ‘Drop Off’ is a sample of what these guys are cooking up, then they really are using only the best ingredients.
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Written by: Lawrie