OK, so 40 Winks have been hailed as an outfit to watch, a collection of albums and singles under their belt, and endless recommendations from friends. To be honest, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve listened, but it hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t hit a nerve, until now. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s The Trip is the new album for 40 Winks, on Project Mooncircle no less.
The introduction doesn’t change my previous opinion of their work, yeah its nice, but nothing that makes me stop and listen. That is the end of the disappointment, as “Outside The Box” lays down a flurry of jazz drum breaks, sweet intoxicating strings, and the odd vocal snippet to carry you back to summer, imagine some of the great future jazz experiments from labels such as Compost and F-Communication, but insert accomplished jazz players, cause that what it sounds like “Tribal Recipe” has a defined afro-jazz feel, with crazed African scat, a sea of vibes, and the odd turntable trickery. “Sun Spots” brings more rolling drums, strings and double bass, in a spiritual jazz vibe, while “Malicious Choir” has a darker overtone, harder funk drums, a similar minimalist approach, with creeping choir samples. “Kodak” grabs a vocal snippet which rides atop a lazy drum break, breaking down to flute and vibes, bringing the strings and piano back for full jazz club effect. “Tinnitus” projects a marching beat over subtle piano and synthesizer noodles, the drums riding the double bass with ease, quietly chiming electronics never come to the fore as with most producers venturing into wonky territory. “40 Layers” comes across all Flying Lotus, but with a restraint that is sometimes lacking in his work, 40 Winks have left room for the sounds to breath, there may be 40 layers, but its so expertly done, this really does sound like a bunch of jazz players jamming. The final cut, “Not The Destination”, is almost eight minutes of soul-jazz bliss, meandering around the meadow, not really going anywhere, but that’s the point.
40 Winks have crafted their best album to date, retaining their love of jazz, soul and hip-hop, using these influences wisely, more on the production values rather than being a jazz copyist. While artists like Flying Lotus propel jazz toward the younger generation, and amaze all with his intricate and complex creations, 40 Winks have taken a similar route, but have kept things much more relaxed, uncluttered and smooth, creating a more free-flowing organic feel to their compositions.
If you like your beats mixed with accomplished jazz sounds, give this a listen, it will bring joy to your ears.