[29 April 2014]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
Doctor Magnum are currently being described as a hip-hop inflused jazz combo, though that might be a little misleading to some jazz listeners. The hip-hop element serves their sound as a flavor and a source of covers, not as you and I may know of it in its raw form. Yes, their music is kinetic and funky but the it can also be relentlessly tuneful. Magnum Carta Holy Grail is stuffed full of easy-going, falling-off-the-log greatness that blends rock with soul, R&B and jazz and whatever else the moment may call for. They cover Kendrick Lamar’s “good kid, m.A.A.d. city”, Nas’s “N.Y. State of Mind”, Tyler, the Creator’s “Awkward” and Alice in Chains’ “Rooster” and leave room for some memorable originals like “Agent Zero” and “Boiler Room Blues”. And in case my recommendation isn’t enough for you, just know that they are giving away a double live album for free. It too has the Kendrick Lamar cover.