Hot on the heels of the first instalment of his much-lauded ‘Crisis & Opportunity’ record series, world-renowned drummer/composer, & producer/beatmaker, Myele Manzanza, now readies Volume 2 for release, giving an insight into his new material with brand new single ‘Quinnies For The Boys’.
A founding member of Electric Wire Hustle, Myele has released four solo albums and racked up tours and collaborations with Jordan Rakei, Theo Parrish, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Recloose and Amp Fiddler amongst others. Myele has developed a strong live presence in his new London base; his quartet has shared stages with the likes of Hiatus Kaiyote, The Bad Plus, Alfa Mist, and drawing packed houses to top venues such as The Jazz Café and Ronnie Scott’s.
Hailing originally from New Zealand, Myele made the move to London in 2019. Having tapped into the vibrant scene of his adopted home with a top tier cast of young London based talent (including Ashley Henry and additional contributions from the legendary Mark de Clive-Lowe) the resulting record 'Crisis & Opportunity Vol.1 - London’ gained praise from the likes of Mary Anne Hobbs, Jamie Cullum, Huey Morgan, The Guardian, Complex, Jazz FM + more.
‘Crisis & Opportunity Vol. 2 - Peaks’ now sees Myele join forces with Andre Marmot, Jay Phelps & Lewis Moody, as well fellow Kiwi musicians Aron Ottignon, Matt Dal Din, Ashton Sellars (who similarly have now found themselves living in the UK / EU) taking inspiration from the mixtape format (favoured by many cult status producers and MC’s) and delivering thirteen doses of exhilarating, Jazz infused bottled lightning. Frustrated by the confines of a planned approach to writing music, Myele was set on embodying a spirit of collaboration and improvisation in the project. He explains “Often the most creative moments came when we had worked our way through the tight trees & moguls of the composition, and settled into the wide-open powder trails of the vamp at the end of the piece. This process was also something that I used to do all the time back in my home city of Wellington, New Zealand in clubs like Havana, The Matterhorn or The Rogue and Vagabond in a style affectionately known as the ‘Welli Jam’. Just get a groove going with a few basic chords and let the music go wherever it goes. As I had been bashing my head into a brick wall trying to ‘compose’ music, I realized that I could just say, “fuck it. I trust these musicians. If I give them the space, then they’ll be able to fill it with good ideas”
With this new pathway opening up infinite possibilities to the outfit, the record quickly began to take shape. Myele says “Funnily enough, over half of the finished album was recorded from excerpts of a single jam session that was a little over an hour long. This was largely due to time pressure and deadline before the studio had to wrap up, and no doubt we were exhausted after the amount of focus and energy taken to get through my pre-composed material, but it’s funny how we can draw out some peak performances when under pressure.”
First single ‘Quinnies For The Boys’ kicks this off with a scattered drum pattern accented cascading piano arpeggios setting the energy for what lies ahead. These give way to an irresistibly off-kilter phrasing which quickly takes hold of the listener. Giving us a clue of what to expect from the full-length record, ‘Crisis & Opportunity’ Vol.2 continues to follow Myele Manzanza’s artistic journey throughout the global pandemic whilst continuing to re-examine and re-approach his approach to crafting music.
released November 19, 2021
Drums, Percussion, Programming - Myele Manzanza
Guitar - Ashton Sellars
Piano, Synths, Vocoder - Aron Ottignon
Bass - Matt Dal Din
Trumpet - Jay Phelps
Additional Synths - Lewis Moody
Additional Percussion - Andre Marmot
Tracks 1, 2, 7, 8 & 13 composed by Myele Manzanza
Tracks 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 composed by Myele Manzanza, Ashton Sellars, Aron Ottignon & Matt Dal Din
Tracks 4 & 12 composed by Myele Manzanza, Ashton Sellars, Aron Ottignon, Matt Dal Din & Lewis Moody
Produced by Myele Manzanza
Recorded at JRS Studios, Berlin 22nd September 2020.
Recorded by Zé Victor Torelli
Engineering assistance by Benny Imhof
Mixed by Patrick Phillips
Mastered by Shawn Hatfield at Audible Oddities
Artist Management - Eric Karsenty at Bridge The Gap MGMT
Photography - Dave Hamblett & Alice Connew
Art Direction & Graphic Design - Shaneymike Studios
supported by 42 fans who also own “Crisis & Opportunity, Vol.2 - Peaks”
We turned on to Emma Jean at Monterey Jazz Fest, and she's the reason I went from 'ehhh I'm not sure I like Acid Jazz and I sure as hell don't like fusion" to "what the hell is *this awesome galactic brilliance?!* A rare talent and a damn fine slab of wax that I have on heavy rotation. I love many tracks including 'Spectre', and i wonder to myself how much it owes to Kate Bush's spectral "Watching You Without Me." jaxers