Hyperspeed jazz drum cut-ups and jolting guitar stabs, meditative
sub bass pools and fertile spoken word poetry: these are stained
glass panes in the church that is multi-instrumentalist Jon Bap.
What Now?, Bap’s debut album, combs regions of free jazz, funk,
hip-hop, gospel, psych rock, drum ’n’ bass, and ambient to form
outsider soul music as warm as it is unheard of.
The naturally delirious sound of What Now? began with the drum
work of prodigy Mike Mitchell (drummer of Stanley Clarke’s trio). Bap
tracked Mitchell’s slinky, spastic drums last year when he passed
through Buffalo, Bap’s hometown. Bap sat with the recordings for
months listening for nuances within Mitchell’s improvisations before
editing the rhythm tracks that became the basis of the oblique pop
songs of What Now?.
Lyrically, the album speaks to what it’s like to be an artist in 2016. Bap
finds strength in opposition to his process (“It takes a background to
have a foreground.”) Yin and yang appear and reappear thematically
(called out by name in penultimate track ‘Yin’). ‘Ghost In The
Wintertime’ declares that now means now (“I don’t want to waste
time / Let’s go”). We all just want to do what we all want to do.
Jon Bap just wants to make music. Beneath choral arrangements,
poems of friends in faraway places, field sound collages, and sunfaded
surf guitar chords, the heart of What Now? is a bold spiritual
interrogation of the present. But the gorgeous instrumental ephemera
are ornamental. The question (What Now?) is real.
1. Guided Meditation
3. Born Into This
4. Other People
5. Gotta Be Your Lover
9. Ghost In The Wintertime
10. Don’t Run Into The Dark So Quick
12. Coda: Let It Happen
• Debut full-length album from multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Jon
Bap, blending free jazz, R&B, psych rock, gospel and ambient.
• Features Stanley Clarke’s drummer Mike Mitchell, chopped
and layered into frenetic poly-rhythms.
• Follows the release of his critically-acclaimed ‘Let It Happen’
EP released on Fresh Selects on 5/27/16.
• Includes full-color lyrics insert and digital download code Available from 12.08.2016