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’Hard Rain’ follows hot-on-the-heels from the acclaimed Ruby Rushton album ‘Ironside’, but whereas contemporary urban jazz was the focus there, Tender’s solo record marks a return to another of the multifaceted artist’s skills: dope house and beat music that oozes futuristic funk.
This sparse but perfectly-populated masterpiece takes inspiration from J Dilla and echoes elements of vintage Blaze, Larry Heard and Carl Craig. Warm and soulful, but also spacious and clean, Tender extracts maximum flavour out of just a few ingredients.
“Casey Jr.” kicks proceedings off with a neck-snapping bass heavy p-funk
monster, like Slum Village or Platinum Pied Pipers by way of Surrey and
onwards to south London. Real electro laced cosmic jazz funk keys and techno hi hats coalesce exquisitely on “Buffalo Gurl”, whilst the breathtakingly deep. ‘Hard Rain’ sounds both current and classic. “Low Tide” is an ambient jazz interlude that clears the palate, before “Another State Of Consciousness” trips the light on a kaleidoscopic discoball of pure synth ecstasy. Bumpy and blunted, the break-fuelled flute ride of “Aesop Thought” and LA style abstractscience of “Workin’ Me Out” shine a new light on trip hop, before the album closes with the smouldering, emotive brooder “Almost Time”.
After a long studio hiatus, this is a sign of good things to come from Tenderlonious and the 22a camp!
Matt says: Peckham rises once again as the 22a firm display some more sonic wares from their locale. Tenderlonious at the controls for a mellow, smoked-out modern jazz / electronics composition.
1. Casey Jnr
2. Buffalo Gals
3. Hard Rain
5. Low Tide
6. Another State Of Concsiousness
7. Aesop Thought
8. Love You
9. Workin Me Out
10. Almost Time