Lund Quartet – Lund Quartet
Over the years, Bristol has produced plenty of acts that forge links between jazz, hip-hop, dub, and drum 'n’ bass, but the most successful artists – Portishead, Massive Attack et al – have tended to use jazz as an aesthetic gloss, an atmospheric but ultimately superficial embellishment to music more fundamentally grounded in other genres. The city's Lund Quartet invert this relationship, taking a minimalist jazz setup as the rhythmic and melodic backbone of their debut, but augmenting it with flourishes that draw upon hip-hop and dub.
The pieces are overlayed with contributions from various brass soloists, which turntablist Jake Wittlin then chops and scratches, effectively using samples as a live improv instrument within a jazz framework; the results draw unexpected links between genres, without ever sounding jarring or incongruous. If anything, Lund Quartet often lacks definition, and can consequently feel too smooth and comfortable; but the record’s imaginative approach saves it from anonymity. [Sam Wiseman]