Canadian Jazz trio BADBADNOTGOOD are set to release their third studio album, aptly named BBNG III, this week and it doesn’t fail to stand up to the best the band has previously offered. Whereas the groups previous albums contained a number of hip-hop/jazz covers of videogame soundtracks and popular music (a good example being an instrumental cover of Kanye West’s Flashing Light on BBNG II), their third offering contains purely original material.
The first track, ‘Triangle’, immediately gives the listener an opportunity to familiarise themselves with what to expect from the rest of the album. Matthew Tavares’ keyboard is the first focus of the song, quickly fading way to give the spotlight to an alluring bassline from Chester Hansen being supported by drummer Alexander Sowinski. This lead-up to the huge sound of the three then playing together over a synthesizer is truly exciting.
The album as a whole uses repetition to its advantage; synthesized passages on ‘Can’t Leave the Night’ and the intoxicating saxophone that dominates ‘Confessions’ particularly reflect this practice and succeed in planting excerpts of music into the mind of the listener.
Versatility is another of BBNG’s strong suits. The mellow, sultry jazz offered on the track ‘Differently Still’ is as close to the contents of your cool uncle’s dusty jazz vinyl collection as the band gets, while the final track ‘CS60’ produces an energy that is wholly different through a very catchy synthesised loop.
This recipe of offering a wholly modern take on Jazz with appropriate hip-hop characteristics that stay true to the influences of members makes for a collection of songs that are able to offer something unique. An album that demands numerous listens, BBNG III is an offering from a collective that will pleasantly surprise a wide variety of listeners.
Standout Track: CS60