Various: LeFtO Presents Jazz Cats Volume 3

DJ LeFtO, something of a plat-pays Gilles Peterson, showcases another batch of Belgian jazz, house and hip-hop musicians to watch

361

Belgium’s answer to Gilles Peterson, DJ LeFtO has an uncanny knack of unearthing new sounds from the worlds of jazz, house and hip-hop. This is his third compilation of music from the catalogue of forward-looking Ghent-based label SDBAN Records, and while it’s never going to be difficult to find gems within the label’s vaults, his selections are invariably on the money.

At first glance the line-up isn’t as stellar as Volumes 1 or 2, which featured, amongst others, Black Flower, De Beren Gieren, Glass Museum, ECHT!, Stellar Legions and Bandler Ching, all of whom have gone on to establish international profiles. The sheer stylistic breadth of the music is striking though, with everything from the straightahead trio of pianist Orson Claeys (Conversations) to the futuristic Ethio-jazz of Azmari (Sheep Party), and lots between.

Among the highlights are the cold electro-acoustic beauty of Moodprint’s Eartha (I’ll certainly be seeking out their recent EP), Ciao Kennedy’s dub-heavy Parsifal Pt. I, the laidback Bossa Dolce from HONEY and the evocative electro-jazz of echofarmer’s Beginning Would Have Been Outside. I was less struck by the voices of Oriana Ikomo and Adja, but that’s more about my bias towards instrumental jazz than anything else. The prize for the most outrageous piece of the set must surely go to closing track OTT by Bruno x Soet x Moene, an insanely fast and precision-cut piano trio piece that takes its cues from Tom Jenkinson (Squarepusher).

Given LeFtO’s proven track record for uncovering new talents we can be confident that many of these artists will go on to bigger things, but regardless of what the future might bring, Jazz Cats Volume 3 is a fascinating window into one of Europe’s creative hotspots.

Discography
Never Forget; Eartha; Exit, Gajo!; Told You So; Brioche; Conversations; Kleine Mars; Bossa Dolce; Sheep Party; De l’Amour; Parsifal Pt. I; Beginning Would Have Been Outside; Escapism; OTT (57.16)
Compilation by DJ LeFtO of new artists from Belgium, including Moodprint, Orson Claeys; Le Ministère, echofarmer, Kassius and Bruno x Soet x Moene. 
Sdban Ultra CD39