Artist: Quantic, The Western Transient
Album: A New Constellation
Genre: Soul, Smooth Jazz
Label: Beat Records/Tru Thoughts
Quality: FLAC (tracks+.cue)
02. Jumble Sale
03. A New Constellation
06. Bicycle Ride
07. Creation (East L.A.)
09. The Orchard
10. Latitude (To The Point Version)
11. Creation (East L.A.) (The Reflex Version)
Will Holland’s musical whims recently saw him relocate to New York after seven years settled in Colombia. The revered globe-trotting DJ, jazz-soul aficionado and world music revivalist might have his actual roots planted in Worcestershire, but as he’s proven release and release again – most notably as Quantic, wherever the next whim lands quickly sounds like home.
The Western Transient is Quantic’s homage to the studio jazz ensemble. Inspired by state-to-state road trips with his band, Holland called up a cast of Los Angeles musicians and with seven reels of magnetic tape for his Ampex machine, set about recreating the transient spontaneity of instrumental jazz and the lucidity of classic soul recordings where the studio band have been given free reign.
The result is a glistening suite of ten new compositions. True to the studio ensemble groove, highly adept musicianship swims beneath a collective consciousness.
Thematically, the intent is to reflect new life. Whether that’s taking a breezy cycle through a new city, as evoked by the sunshine horns on ‘Bicycle Ride’, or floating through uncharted territory powered by the spiraling glow of a pitched-up moog solo as on ‘A New Constellation.’
Typifying the remit of retro lounge music, there’s an easy listening sheen cast across proceedings, probably in part due to that delicious Ampex warmth and Holland’s own Michelin chef-like precision as band director, producer and rhythm guitarist for good measure.
His revitalisation of tradition is subtler than normal, but what we lack in culture clash thrill is generously overcompensated by a vitality and cohesion that pushes these sumptuous new instrumentals away from forgettable hotel foyer chic towards a glowing account of his new home.
by Kim Hillyard