Latvian four-piece Lupa release their LP Sequences And Consequences, featuring six tracks of contemporary jazz, with a heavy electronic influence. Recorded entirely in analogue to tape, and without overdubbing, the album is sonically rich, capturing the musicians’ work in the quality it deserves. While the heavy use of synthesisers gives the album a definite electronic flavour, underpinning this is strong jazz harmony, adding great depth to the compositions.
On alto saxophone, Davis Jurka leads the band throughout, immediately demonstrating his proficiency with an extended solo on the eight-minute opener, Zebra. The second track, Skagen, switches to a more jazz-funk style, with Ritvars Garoza on the Fender Rhodes providing the main riff, over which saxophone and bass play a tight groove in unison, before crescendoing improvisation.
Lupa blends styles to great effect, from the warm, vintage sounds of the Rhodes and saxophone to the sharp, fizzing synthesisers and drum machine. As well as this, electronic effects are used throughout the album, adding a diverse and vibrant texture.
The fourth track, City, uses a filtered synth-chord progression in 7/8 to lay the basis for Andris Buikis’s complex syncopated drumming, over which the alto saxophone explores variations of a repeated melody. Bassist Valters Sprudzs stands out at several points for his use of harmonics on Seaside to the finger-picked arpeggios on French Song.
There is much to enjoy in Sequences And Consequences. The band’s vision for their music is clear, with the tracks varied enough to be interesting, but maintaining stylistic and instrumental unity. Lupa are certainly worth checking out for both their musical originality and skill.
Hear/buy Lupa: Sequences And Consequences at https://jersikarecords.bandcamp.com/album/sequences-and-consequences
Zebra; Skagen; French Song; City; Seaside; Sigourney (40.00)
Davis Jurka (as; syn); Ritvars Garoza (syn, elp); Valters Sprudzs (elb); Andris Buikis (d, elec). Latvia, 21-23 November 2018.
Jersika Records JRA 004