Two abstract jazz fans, one from Brasil, the other from the UK, release instrumental records. Dr. Who Dat?'s "Beyond 2morrow" builds future-jazz beatscapes out of rusty drums and synths, while Mr. Chop's "Sounds from the Cave" creates a dense sound collage of slightly-dissonant grooves.
Brazil’s Dr. Who Dat? (aka Jneiro Jarel) and U.K. soundsmith Mr. Chop (aka Coz Littler) are both big fans of the abstract instrumental beatscape. Much of Jarel’s recent work draws on soul and jazz samples, as well as the tropical sounds of his home nation, and Chop’s recent release through Stones Throw Records, "Lightworlds," is full of muddy, futuristic/ambient abstract jazziness.
The two swap genres on their latest discs.
Dr. Who Dat’s "Beyond 2morrow" would be the "Blade Runner" soundtrack, if Harrison Ford had been replaced by Samuel L. Jackson. Synths buzz and rattle, rusted-metal grooves abound and heavy doses of tremolo give most tracks a shifting sonic atmosphere, almost like they’re being beamed from a glitchy satellite signal.
"Beyond 2morrow" is very much akin to Black Milk’s recent "Tronic" in its sound palette, eschewing the traditional soul samples in favor of an industrialized-but-streetwise approach to beatmaking. “JJ-Tron” would fit snugly between any two of "Tronic’s" tracks, “Dr. 400000000” employs the same sort of loping percussion favored by Black Milk, and “Viberian Twilight Part 2” mashes up a series of corroded synthesizers into a buzzing cauldron.
Chop’s "Sounds from the Cave," on the other hand, starts with the R&B breakbeats that shaped hip-hop and ships them forward and backward, taking the tasty-but-edgy type grooves of hipster-jazz musicians like John Lurie, David Holmes and Medeski, Martin & Wood and giving them a raw, slightly-futuristic edge.
The opener, “The Caveman,” buzzes and bucks with growling wah-wah-guitar and breakbeat-on-steroids drums. “Monolith Voodoo Vibes” works an uptempo group into a squelchy rave-up, and “The Red Baron” works wailing flutes and a stuttering beat into full paranoid psychosis.
And while "Sounds from the Cave" is definitely the more melodious of the two, both are worth exploring.