You would be forgiven for thinking, upon first hearing Nikitch & Kuna Maze’s ‘JPS’, that the duo hailed from the PNW; indeed, the track begins with a taste of that easy rolling house sound that’s become a signature of the area. But no sooner than when you start to get comfortable with that opening, the French duo flips the script and break the track wide open with a bright, syncopated synth line that propels you in new energetic directions, ultimately culminating into a satisfying downtempo crescendo.
But give the rest of the EP a listen, titled ‘Mush’, and you’ll see that switching things up is less a surprise than a central theme for these artists. No two tracks have the same tempo, the genre influences are blurry and indistinct. There’s a seamless blend of syncopated instrumentation, beautiful synth programming, and crisp polyrhythmic beats; and yet, each track is also undeniably equal parts jazz, funk, and soul. It’s no wonder, then, that acid jazz pioneer Gilles Peterson has already been supporting this release. It catches the spirit of acid jazz, and places it squarely in a context that could only exist right now. Stream JPS above, and you’ll see why.