Chaz Bundick and the West Coast jazz duo serve up 34 minutes of psych-rock, French pop, and 70s soul.
Throughout his career, Portland-via-South Carolina musician and producer Chaz Bundick has repeatedly proven that restlessness can be an artist's best personality trait, shifting genres according to his own interests and not what's the trend du jour. This open-minded creative approach has lead to a varied discography that ranges from Toro Y Moi's languid, funk-influenced electro-pop, to Les Sins' slinky dance beats, and delightfully off-kilter collaborations with artists including the Avalanches, Kool A.D., Tyler, The Creator, and more.
For last year's concert album (and accompanying film), Live From Trona—recorded in a Mojave Desert town three hours away from Los Angeles with a population of approximately 3,000—he recruited the services of identical twin brothers Jared and Jonathan Mattson, otherwise known as Southern California jazz duo the Mattson 2. Their instantaneous chemistry has also lead to a full-length LP, Chaz Bundick Meets the Mattson 2, which comes out March 31 via Bundick's label Company Records.
Much like their sprawling collaborative record, the trio's 34-minute THUMP Mix is a trip through far-flung, polychromatic dimensions. Kicking off with American folk singer Kathy McCord's 1970 song "Rainbow Ride," it drifts through freewheeling psychedelic rock, French pop, and Hungarian guitarist Gabor Szabo's improvisational take on the Beatles' "Dear Prudence," all of which will have you firing up your Discogs account.
Stream the mix below, download it via WeTransfer, and read a short email interview with Bundick and guitarist Jared Mattson.
THUMP: Where did you record this mix? How are we meant to enjoy this mix?
Chaz Bundick: I made this on the computer in my house. At night, maybe with a drink or a joint.
What's your favourite moment on this mix?
CB: Gabor Szabo's cover of the Beatles. Everyone loves the Beatles.
Jared Mattson: The whole sequence in general plays like a cohesive album. I personally love the transition Chaz did between Gary Pacific and Sensations' Fix. You probably will notice that the mix is guitar-heavy with strong melodies and pounding back beats.
Tell me a little bit about how this project came together and what we can expect from the album.
CB: They wanted to borrow a drum stool, then we pretty much kicked it and jammed.
JM: This project came together through an intro from our mutual friend in San Francisco, Andrew Paynter. We tried jamming and it really cooked literally from the first note so then we decided to make a record together. "Sonmoi" was actually our first ever musical conversation, 100% improvised, and it was such a great moment that we all decided it should be on the record.
This record is a product of the modern world with its depth of instruments, styles, and emotions. For Chaz's fans, this record showcases him using jazz influences to create new music. Flip it to our fans who will no doubt say, "Wow, the Mattson twins are really digging into psych-rock and hip-hop and soulful influences, etc." Our worlds have literally collided in a musical sense, and this record perfectly captures this vibe.
Why did you decide to record a live album in Trona? How did the acoustics of the venue impact the performance?
CB: I thought about how I've always wanted to act like I'm in a famous rock genre-bending band like Pink Floyd. Being outside everything sounded amazingly dead. There's more space out there than the mind can handle.
We're seeing jazz enjoy a resurgence in popularity and influencing mainstream artists—why do you think this is the
CB: I'm not sure if I've noticed that. Seems like everything mainstream is trap-influenced. But jazz has never died and really never will. Jazz is the ultimate anti, it's the peaceful space between the stressful world events.
JM: I think there are many reasons why jazz is seeing a comeback. For Jonathan and I, it's always been one of our favorite styles of music... why we like it is possibly why others like it. It's an incredible balance between technique, sophistication, creativity, style, and feeling. There's a level of familiarity and uncertainty which, when you think about it, is why people enjoy Jimi Hendrix. Fans loved the melodies and the grooves, but what they also came for an unpredictable experience. At any moment he could burn his guitar.
As far as genre is concerned, jazz is the apex of spontaneous musical interaction, that goes for performers and audience. Even 60s rockers used jazz influences. These days, people are starting to solo and experiment more and really learn their instruments. Jazz, especially from the 60s and 70s, exemplifies all these things.
Kathy McCord - Rainbow
Jacqueline Taieb - Le Coeur Au Bout Des Doigts
The Sandals - Coming Down Slow
Gary Pacific Group/Wolfram Brunch - Knitting
Sensations' Fix - Fragments Of Light
The Deirdre Wilson Tabac - I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes
Eddie Fisher - Either Or
Dungen - Jamna Plagor
Gabor Szabo - Dear Prudence
Chaz Bundick Meets the Mattson 2 is out March 31 via Company Records.
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