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Music

Jameszoo - "Flu feat. Arthur Verocai" (Singles Going Steady)

Jameszoo's "Flu" is simply the greatest piece of contemporary jazz in 2016 thus far.

Emmanuel Elone: "Flu" is simply the greatest piece of contemporary jazz in 2016 thus far. There's a lot going on instrumentally, from some plucked acoustic guitar to sharp violins to even colorful synth leads (that I suspect Flying Lotus might have had a hand in), but Jameszoo blends all of the elements brilliantly to form a textured and layered jazz melody. However, what brings all of these instrumental components together are the clear, crisp drums that punch out a complex, pulsing rhythm underneath it all. These elements alone would make "Flu" a beautiful piece of art, but Jameszoo structures the song to have small builds as well as instrumental and rhythmic shifts that add even more texture and harmony. If this is what Jameszoo's new album, Fool, is going to sound like, it could easily be the best record this year, bar none. [9/10]

Chris Ingalls: Jameszoo's Fool is proving to be one of 2016's more interesting sonic experiences, combining tweaked Zappa-esque '70s-era funk with earnest Stevie Wonder touches. The arrangement is such that once it finds a catchy groove, it latches on for dear life, cramming in all the possibilities for a solid track. It's jazzy, welcoming, loose and fun. If aliens visited New York City in 1974 and decided to take over a recording studio, they'd probably end up with something not unlike this. [9/10]

Pryor Stroud: Another track from Jameszoo's upcoming LP Fool, "Flu" begins with a skittish percussive preamble, what could be called the timorous mutterings of a drummer afraid to play aloud, before launching into a decibel-level-pushing science fiction funk jam straight out of George Clinton's playbook. But why did this drummer hesitate? And why did he hesitate with such palpable nervousness? Perhaps, just as Clinton was so apt to do, Jameszoo is imagining a speculative future here: we're in an underground club-slash-meeting place, its four walls and ceiling pressing inward, the smoke of its patrons in the air, and Clinton's P-funk sound -- the sound that Jamezoo coopts here -- has become the last expressive bastion of the counterculture during a totalitarian regime. In a word, then, this drummer hesitates to play because to play is to violate the law, and to violate the law is to flirt with execution. [6/10]

Chad Miller: Really cool tune. It's so weird hearing such processed jazz, but Jameszoo knows exactly what he's doing here. It's experimental even for the genre it resides in, but all of Jameszoo's choices seems to pay off, effectively turning a guitar into what sounds like a full band. [9/10]

Jameszoo's debut album Fool releases May 13th through Brainfeeder.

SCORE: 8.25

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