Saturday, 23 January 2016

Video: Auxiliary Phoenix - Monsoonami

Auxiliary Phoenix - Monsoonami (Live)

Info: Carlow producer and multi-instrumentalist Auxiliary Phoenix (James Strain) has released a new video for his latest track 'Monsoonami', recorded fully live on drums and keyboards with chopped samples, and without overdubs, cuts, edits or looping. Strain provides a bit of background on himself and the new track; 'I make experimental hip hop music inspired by jazz fusion, progressive rock, alternative hip hop, turntablism and wonky beats. I've produced remixes for Divine Styler, Lisa Papineau, windings & Bearcubbin', amongst others. I've released various EPs through the likes of Little L Records, Earstroke Records, Independent Music News and also independently. My next release is a jazz fusion / beats crossover EP called Camelopardalis, coming out this year on Inner Current Recordings. ''Monsoonami' is inspired by Deantoni Parks' 'Technoself' method of performing, I'm aiming to bring my own style and sound to the table.'

No stranger to the blog here, I've always found the variety of the project work that Auxiliary Phoenix presents highly interesting, from his pairing with Delaware rapper Gentle Jones in the form of High Elders, to his huge and seemingly endless solo output, everything is always different, every time and his music has been widely shared by radio DJ's including Dan Hegarty of 2FM, and Hot Press recently describing him and a recent release (below) as; "The man with the most productive shed in Ireland, Auxiliary Phoenix, treats us to the absolutely gorgeous ‘Decimated’."

Auxiliary Phoenix - Decimated (Live in the Shed)

Strain's music is simultaneously drawn from old jazz and jazz fusion, prog-rock, and hip-hop from the last four decades, the former of which can be instantly observed in the video for 'Monsoonami'. An avid collector of old vinyl who is on a never-ending voyage of connecting the dots between both genres and hip-hop, you get the impression he would die sooner from a lack of music than food or water, apologies for the morbid analogy. At the outset the track reminded me a little bit of French acid jazz outfit St.Germain and as it went on you kind of get lost in the carefully executed off-beat keys, snare and percussion. 

It's a terribly off-putting cliché, but this is about as pure and honest as creative music can get, an extremely talented guy making music that is in a category that we can only loosely describe, maximising the tools at his disposal with no sign of the well drying up. You get the sense that the more music from the past that Strain delves into, the more unique and special his creations will become, but it's not just about looking to the past, that's only a small part of it. What's happening here is an extremely gifted and naturally creative mind running amok with amazing results, let's see where they take him.

High Elders - Rappers Are Jerks

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  2. That was a great read. Congratulations to James.