Album Review: Midnight Sun by MetaQuorum

Metaquorum Midnight Sun

Midnight Sun by MetaQuorum is a decent debut album by the experimental jazz collective

Fans of modern jazz/rock should check out Midnight Sun, the new debut album by MetaQuorum.

Based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, MetaQuorum is an experimental jazz collective formed in 2014. The jazz-funk duo consists of Russian-born Dmitry Ermakov (composer/keyboard) and Dutch drummer Koos van der Velde (drums/audio engineering) and together, the duo produce a unique sound which fuses jazz, funk, rock and reggae with neo-baroque and electronica.

Midnight Sun is MetaQuorum’s debut album and features 10 energetic new tracks. Produced at Loft Music Studios, the album’s amalgamation of styles is inspired by artists as diverse as Miles Davis, Kraftwek and Led Zeppelin and is sure to win over jazz fans with its cosmic jazz rushes, cocktail hour riffs and psyched synths.

The album opens with District Line, a fast punchy track which reflects the rhythm of the famous tube line, the bustle of people getting on and off, the different sounds and the sense of movement. Debut single North Sea Fret follows straight after and is arguably the best track on the album with its rare fusion of electronic music and contemporary jazz.

If you’re a fan of dreamy atmospheric tracks that are reminiscent of long hot summer days, check out Swallows’ Riff, a vibrant track inspired by a photo taken in summer of 2013 at a seaside village in Bulgaria, and Midnight Sun, a smooth modern jazz with a great bluesy rhythm.

Elements of neo-baroque are certainly evident in Circle & Square and Canzona. The latter track is worth a listen particularly Ermakov’s interesting interpretation of a piece by Francesco Canova da Milano’s. The result is a modern track which moves from neo-baroque to down-tempo electronic fusion with an undercut of reggae.

Funk fans should check out Clodhopping, a gritty, instrumental jazz/rock track with an upbeat funk rhythm and The Racer, a fusion of nu-bop, nu-disco, nu-swing and good old funk inspired by the rush of driving with the wind in your hair.

The tempo slows for Unexpected Encounter, a gentle, electronic ballad with a central piano solo and Silver Thread, a dreamy, trance-like number with electronic synths and the final track on the album.

True music fans should appreciate the artwork that accompanies the CD album, as well as the inner sleeve commentary which explains the duo’s inspiration behind each of the tracks.

Midnight Sun by MetaQuorum is certainly an acquired taste but the variation in styles should appeal to fans of good old jazz-rock. A decent debut album from the experimental jazz collective.

3 out of 5 stars

Midnight Sun by MetaQuorum is out now.

Midnight Sun by MetaQuorum

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