After his album, " Last States of Nature", which was released on Studio K7 in 1998, Ian Simmonds is back – back to X. "Return to X" – to a point X in his big, wide sound ≈ìuvre. Where exactly this point X lies remains vague – the listeners are left to picture it for themselves. If you know Ian Simmonds musical work, you’ll know where this point is: that place where there are no points of reference.
He started working on this with his last album – the dissolution of the boundaries between jazz, dub, electronic and soundtrack formats, breaking down barriers and the recontextualization of origins. It was impossible to precisely categorize exactly what it was that IAN SIMMONDS had brought together on his sampler in the spaces between the various musical genres, but it sounded damned exciting and it sounded fresh.
In this respect, Brighton based IAN SIMMONDS is already an old hand. In the last few years, he cooperated on numerous projects as both musician and producer, was a founding member of the acid jazz formation THE SANDALS, produced tracks for the then still totally unknown Leftfield and Pressure Drop and worked as a session musician for countless bands and music projects. JURYMAN was his first big solo project, which was released on labels such as Ninja Tunes, ATL, Pussyfoot and SSR Platten. The album that resulted from his cooperation with Luke Gordon, JURYMAN VS. SPACER, numbers among one of the great masterworks of dancefloor jazz.
And now "Return to X". Here also, classic instrumentation has been consciously adhered to: jazz drums, a spinet, some discordant, organic-sounding synthesized chords and a simple arrangement – already you’re immersed in a fascinating spell, from which you can only free yourself with a struggle. IAN SIMMONDS doesn’t need much to achieve this. Maybe because his music has a timeless sound to it, which has a passionate and simultaneously menacing effect, as inscrutable as a large, sparkling ruby that shines seductively, dark and sexy.
This music has a little bit of the dark lasciviousness of PEACE ORCHESTRA under the direction of Vienna’s Peter Kruder. It’s no wonder that IAN SIMMONDS has been a close friend of his for some years. IAN SIMMONDS recently remixed the PEACE ORCHESTRA track, "Shining", which he turned into an exceptional dark-jazz tune.
We might get excited about where IAN SIMMONDS will lead us next. You can be sure that it will be unknown territory, where we will encounter him on his return – "Return to X".