Mindswimmer are a jazz quintet from Chicago, USA. The Future Jazz Sounds Of Mindswimmer is their debut album. 9 tracks long, it is an ambitious project which features compositions that vary from shorter 4 minute tracks to 18 minute stunners. It is eclectic in sound, with influences ranging from the spiritual jazz world of John Coltrane, and Sun Ra to the guitar-heavy grooves of Radiohead and Pearl Jam. It’s also vastly experimental and is a true testament to their creativity and overall energy. Though I mentioned that they are a jazz quintet, it’s clear that they are so much more than that.
Members include Antoine Johnson (drums keys and percussion), Simeon Viltz (vocals, trumpet, keys, synthesizer, vibraphone, percussion and drums), Natasha Kohli (vocals and percussion), Prashant Vallury ( keys, bass, guitar, synthesizer, vibraphone and background vocals), Steve Dobias (guitar, synthesizer, keys and background vocals) and Kelly Hibbert, who mastered the album. Over an 8 month period, these people had jam sessions where they improvised with sounds and came up with some mesmeric results.
The high intensity of tracks such as “Chicago to Damascus” spans over 18 minutes with its dense drumming, eerie guitar leads and abrasive synths that provide a soundscape for Simeon Viltz to rap honestly about the hellish dystopia of society in the United States. At times the album feels like one extended jam session as the transitions between tracks are so effortless, with the dense instrumentation meandering in between the drumming and percussion. “Spending Time” is a moody, progressive track that captures a spiritual aura, which is complemented by powerful vocals and keys that add to the character of this track. There’s so much more I can say about this album, but in all truth all you have to do is listen to it and let the music take you away into a journey of reflection and introspection.
Listen to Mindswimmer’s debut album The Future Jazz Sounds Of Mindswimmer below via Bandcamp. Released via Stellar Nursery Records.