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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Back & Forth - Unavoidable Casualty (Thin Consolation, 2009) ****

Sampling and mixing jazz into trip hop and instrumental hip hop modes is not a new thing, but the quality of the work done here by my fellow countrymen of "Back & Forth" is worth mentioning, if only for the attention to detail for every aspect of the production, including the artwork and the more than unusual sleeve. The "band" consists of Aziz and Steph (no relation), who to my knowledge play no instruments, but just cut and paste music on music on music, and assisted on this album by electronics wizz Kadah Vresky and drummer David Arens. The end result, it must be said, is pretty strong. Slow and rhythmic, cinematic and dark, dramatic and stylish. It is cool and angst-ridden at the same time. Again an unusual combination. Their real strength is in their great ear for sound, selecting really powerful pieces and weaving them into a different context, creating something very coherent, really strong. Not real jazz, very much a further extension of what St. Germain and ELP did well before, and of equal quality. Nice work. Only 500 copies available.

Listen to an extract from "Killer Café".

For more information on the package and artwork, click here.

© stef


Dr Merlin said...

Back & Forth's debut EP - The Breakdown Era - is available for free download on the Thin Consolation website at

as is a mix concocted by Aziz at

enjoy !