The Modern Deep Left Quartet
Two and a half years after their debut LP, 23 Seconds dazzled critics and lit up dance floors worldwide, Cobblestone Jazz are back with a powerhouse new album that captures their live-in-the-studio energy like never before. A mixture of heady, jazz-inspired house grooves and below-the-belt analog funk, it raises the bar for electronic dance music in 2010.
Titled The Modern Deep Left Quartet, the record marks an important addition to the Cobblestone Jazz lineup, as the trio of Mathew Jonson, Danuel Tate and Tyger Dhula brings aboard Colin de la Plante (aka the Mole). De la Plante is no newcomer to the Cobblestone crew: the four musicians have been playing together for nearly 15 years, since their first performances in small-town Victoria, British Columbia, and they’ve all shared the stage as the Modern Deep Left Quartet. (In 2005, they also recorded an EP for the band’s Wagon Repair label, which is also responsible for the vinyl release of The Modern Deep Left Quartet.) Now, using the moniker as their new album title, the band officially anoints de la Plante a full-time member of the studio lineup.
Album opener “Chance Dub” sets the record’s tone with gently cycling chords, trim drum programming and heavy sub-bass: a seductive take on modern house, with an almost Zen-like sense of calm. Tempos ratchet up a notch with “Sun Child,” a slab of classic techno-jazz slicked with sliding bass action and subliminal vocal loops; Tate’s Rhodes solo beams like a Balearic Herbie Hancock.
“Chance,” the vocal version of the album’s opening track, takes Cobblestone Jazz as deep into song-form as they’ve ever gone. Over nimble bass/drums interplay, Tate’s Rhodes solo shows a rare degree of elegance and lyricism. “Midnight Sun” closes things out with a significant change in direction, slowing down to 95 BPM to dive into a dubby fantasia of slo-mo disco, Latin shuffle and otherworldly synthesizers—proof that Cobblestone’s steps extend far beyond four-to-the-floor. Follow along as they go modern, deep and far to the left.