Thursday, July 12, 2018

Now Vs Now - The Buffering Cocoon (September, 14 2018)

Jason Lindner, a keyboardist with eclectic musical sensibilities that intermesh to create a unique voice that has served as a key ingredient for numerous projects, including David Bowie's final album "Blackstar", presents his New York-based band's third album (and first for Jazzland), 'The Buffering Cocoon'.

Broad in scope, grand in ambition, and possibly a wormhole to a different musical dimension, the album takes the listener on the musical journey and experience that defies clear classification by any traditional measures. If music is about ideas expressed via the right notes in the best possible configuration using the best sounds, this is what Now Vs Now delivers. The ideas are focused on the future: the future of humanity, society, the planet. The themes of each track are interconnected, and their musical expression is perfectly attuned accordingly: no excess notes in the name of ego-based skill exposition, no scarcity of sounds where the concepts demand them. From the moment you press play, to the final drone and tick-tock of "Buffer Failed. Restart" you are taken on a journey with a perfectly planned and executed itinerary, a journey from an uncertain present to possible futures.

Genres become grist for Now Vs Now's musical mill, stylistic compass points to orient the listener. Chick Corea's description of Lindner as a "musical universe" is shown here to be a truth rather than mere hyperbole. They produce electronic music tinged with jazz, funk and soul, with nods to relaxing vaporwave ("Accelerating Returns"), analog synth-pop (the percolating "Cloud Fishing"), danceable darkwave (the propulsive, '80s-reminiscent "Motion Potion"), and modern electro-R&B ("The Scarecrow"). On other songs, IDM's taut beatkeeping, jazztronica's livewire energy, and elements of the cutting-edge Wonky subgenre popularized by Flying Lotus and J Dilla contribute verve and velocity.

In addition to fronting Now Vs Now - whose lineup also features bassist Panagiotis Andreou and drummer Justin Tyson - Lindner is a sound designer, composer, arranger, and producer. Originally from Brooklyn, he taught himself piano by ear before studying formally, simultaneously finding expression on electric guitar and saxophone. An apprentice of New York's elder jazz masters, his musical career began in jazz and sasla clubs. But he soon proved to be a voracious student of many types of music, eventually leading to synthesizers and electronics. Lindner currently tours and records with saxophonist Donny McCaslin - whose band, including Lindner, was enlisted by David Bowie for the recording of his final album, the Tony Visconti co-produced Blackstar - and is in a particular niche to serve as keyboardist for Angelique Kidjo's Talking Heads Remain in Light project and with Ethiopean Jazz pioneer Mulatu Astatke. He also embarks on solo and collaborative electronic projects under the name Oscillations.

"Rhythm provides more than a heartbeat for Jason Lindner. It also seems to fuel his respiratory functions and digestive activity, and maybe his neurons...What matters to him is groove, however it comes." - The New York Times

"Will this alien music make you want to dance? Absolutely, but be warned: once you step into the group's intoxicating, alternate universe, you may find it hard to leave." - NPR Music

" open minded kid from Brooklyn [Lindner] became one of jazz's most interesting keyboardists, with an identity spanning genres, cultures, formats and technologies." - JazzTimes

1. Buffering 3% 01:08
2. Cloud Fishing 05:26
3. Glimmer 07:21
4. Motion Potion 07:05
5. Silkworm Society 05:26
6. Buffering 43% 00:59
7. Dichotomy 08:32
8. Pergamos 06:42
9. Squoosh 00:50
10. 400 PPM 06:24
11. The Scarecrow (Silkworm Society Remix) 02:33
12. Accelerating Returns 05:52
13. Buffering Failed - Restart 00:38