Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Alfa Mist ‎– Antiphon (2017)

Genre: Hip Hop, Jazz, Funk / Soul
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Impartmaint Inc.

1.   Keep On
2.   Potential
3.   Errors
4.   Breathe
5.   7th October
6.   Kyoki
7.   Nucleus
8.   Brian

Alto Saxophone – Maria Medvedeva
Bass – Kaya Thomas-Dyke, Rudi Creswick
Drums – Gaspar Sena, Jamie Houghton
Guitar – Jamie Leeming, Mansur Brown
Keyboards, Piano, Producer – Alfa Mist
Trumpet – Johnny Woodham
Violin, Strings – Lester Salmins, Tobie Tripp
Vocals – Jordan Rakei, Kaya Thomas-Dyke

Alfa Mist’s latest project ‘Antiphon’ sees him explore his love affair with jazz music in what is arguably his finest work to date. 
Through listening to the Are We Live podcast, I’ve learnt a lot about Alfa Mist not just as an artist, but as a person. And the deep, thoughtful nature of his personality is evident in this latest project which he based upon a conversation he had with his brothers regarding mental health. The entire release is bubbling with expression as offbeat chords, unfamiliar time signatures and wandering solos leave you no choice but to immerse yourself in every second of every track. 
Alfa opens up the EP with “Keep On,” a 10 minute jam style track bursting with solos and tight drum patterns. And it’s not the only record on the release on which Alfa refuses to conform to typical 3 - 5 minute track lengths, ‘Errors’ which was premiered by Stamp the Wax follows a similar formula where you’re sucked into wandering solos and drum crescendos. 
‘7th October’ is the only track on the release on which Alfa raps, and for someone who doesn’t class themselves as a rapper, his flow and lyricism cannot be faulted. Having also showcased his rapping ability on his 2nd Exit project and previous release 'Nocturne’, I’m sure many would be keen to hear an entire rapped release at some point, myself included. 
‘Potential’, featuring harmonies from Jordan Rakei, is hypnotic dream-like piece fuelled and driven by the emotion of a spoken narrative about family relationships. This sort of raw authenticity runs throughout the entire EP, from the stunning vocals of Kaya Thomas Dyke on ‘Breathe’ to the improvised hazy feel of ‘Nucleus.' 
The London Jazz scene, and jazz music in general, is going through a very exciting time at the moment and it’s thanks to artists like Alfa Mist who are pushing the sound in new directions. Hopefully there will be a live show or two around the corner as well, fingers crossed.
Josh Mason / Somewhere Soul