Astigmatic Records (who released one of my favourite releases of last year, EABS’ Repetitions (Letters to Krzysztof Komeda)), are back with a new release from New Zealand native Surly. The musician has released some fantastic music in the past with Polish Juke, a crew of Polish producers and musicians who are heavily inspired by Chicago Juke and Footwork, and his new project Trip To Warsaw EP explores that sound further with a fascinating and incredibly dense mi of Chicago Juke and Footwork with Polish jazz. The experimentation here, the mix of heavy bass undertones, vocal samples and Polish jazz rhythms is synced and blended perfectly, bringing out heavy dancefloor vibes and an eerie undertone provided by both quirky experimental sound effects, the bass that provides that midnight urban-type feeling to it.
This tribute for Polish Jazz comes from the fact that Scott Ludvingson (Surly’s real name) has a strong connection to the culture and music. His father, Tom Ludvigson a famous New Zealand jazz musician, used to play with Krzysztof Ścierański from legendary Polish group, Laboratorium. Therefore, it is clear that Surly channels his inspiration for this EP from his father’s connection with the genre, as he played an influential role and helped shape the overall sound of the music. Tom Ludvigson is a versatile artist who also provided the artwork for Surly’s album, showing not only that his influence expands beyond the music, but also the fact that the family connection is so strong, which is always great to see.
I’m not going to pretend like I know much about the Footwork genre, but I’ll say that upon first listen, what stood out was the energy and addictive nature of the music. Repetition in this case was done so incredibly well, and it draws me back to listen to it again and again. Highly recommended listen to fans of jazz and footwork, and big up to Astigmatic Records for releasing this project.
You can read about, listen to and pre-order Surly’s Trip To Warsaw EP below via Bandcamp.