Tripping the Moon Jazz Fantastic

Tripping the Moon Jazz Fantastic

Posted by James on 25th Sep 2022

This is my first ever album review, but I am really excited to start adding this dimension to our website and I hope to do a lot more in the future. If anyone ever wants to contribute a written album review to Travelling the Groove Records then just drop me an email. Right lets get on with it.

Every now and then we get emails from new artists/producers asking us if we would review their new single/EP or album, but nine times out of ten you can guarantee that it is only available as a download, and they have sent a link to a short preview. On this occasion not only did I get sent a link to the full album to listen to but the artist in question also had their debut album pressed on vinyl, instantly piquing my interest, we are a vinyl store after all. For full disclosure the artist also sent me a copy of the album on vinyl, which you may have seen on our Instagram, so that I could review it properly. Don’t worry I am still going to be honest in my review, I’m not that easily bought (well maybe).

So which artist gets my first review? Let me introduce you to Emma Hart, AKA Hart, and her debut album Moon Jazz, available now through Ill Records. The album is a follow up to her EP, Little Black book, which came out in 2020, and sees the Bangor-based producer taking the next step on her musical journey. Hart moulds together the classical sounds and samples of by gone jazz with the contemporary hip-hop tainted beats and bass lines of today.

Coming in at 13 tracks long, I don’t count mini intro’s and outro’s as tracks, there is plenty here to get your ears into and to become associated with the young producer. On first listen I struggled with the opening track, Struttin’, it seemed a little disjointed for an opening track, stopping and starting, odd samples, but once I got passed that the album really took off and the flow of each track really came to the fore. The beats are crisp and varied whilst the sample choices are very clever, especially the vocal samples, which are not just random phrases that have no context, except maybe to provide a title for the song, which you hear in a lot of electronic music, but in some instances it almost feels like Hart is trying to deliver a message through here sample choices, ‘Key Tickler’ and ‘Tone Fidelity’ being prime examples. As you dive deeper into the record you are listening to a 21st century production but throughout you are drawn back to golden days of 20’s and 30’s Jazz as, thankfully, the samples have not been cleaned up to take out the warmth you get from the original recording to tape, which wasn’t great in those days. Providing the glue that holds everything together, delightful chords from a diverse choice of instruments keep the listener engaged further.

This is definitely an album for fans of Massive Attack, Leftfield or DJ Shadow, to name a few. I have had this album on repeat a lot since I first heard it, so it comes with a big thumbs up recommendation. I feel that Hart is going to go a long way, especially on the back of this album, which is really good but I also think she still has a ‘great’ album inside of her, so I am excited to see what comes next.

If you’ve heard the album let us know what you think on our socials and make sure you tag us.