Creative jazz outfit Schemes are about to release their self-titled EP comprised of seven original recordings. Bringing together elements of trip-hop and classic jazz-cafe vibes, with dashes of soul and a seductively hip hop-like sense of rhythm, the project promises smooth hits and easy-going grooves – the perfectly nostalgic yet refreshing way to see you through the summer months.
As an early taster of the EP, Hello is a quickly likable song – crisp, clean and organic instrumentation is met by simple melodies and a calming pair of voices. The switch from the Morcheeba-style opening moments to the near-whispered rap delivery is subtle but satisfying, the mood remains the same but the band make sure to build something that evolves and shines in different ways throughout. This holds on to your interest well, keeping things moving yet also maintaining that inherent delicacy and this generally laid-back, smokey-jazz-bar aura. A beautiful piece of music, creative and artistically expressive, yet never too much so that it takes away from the accessible rhythm and peacefulness of the completed piece.
Later on in the project, a track called Tomorrow leads with an infectious riding bass-line – a funk backbone subtly supports what actually becomes something partly Gospel-inspired and partly classic RnB. The opening vocal moments present a choir-like sense of togetherness – this performance is rhythmic and anthem-like, drawing you in for its level of togetherness and unity. Following this, the RnB vocal is laid almost bare – the layers fall away, the presentation is quieter, poetically reflective and gentle; beautifully compelling for its apparent openness and intimacy.
After this, a subtle hit of intensity and energy comes into view. The drums kick into gear and the instrumentation in general reaches a lively peak – in keeping with the sudden pace and vibrancy of the rap vocal. Though the set-up is similar, and there are undoubtedly threads between the tracks, the structure and story-line here, the progression and the passion that emerges – all of this leans in a totally new direction. There’s a sense of optimism, perhaps living in and looking forward to the future – as introduced by the title. Hello, previously, gave off much more of a notably content and calm flavor. In either case, both tracks leave you with an addictive sense of bliss.
What you get with this collective is an incredibly creative and emotionally energized series of compositions and performances. Schemes brings together the best of the best, to collaborate and come up with music that soothes the soul and connects deeply from the very second it starts to play. This EP is absolutely one to be revisited, a timeless playlist that’s a refreshing pleasure to stumble upon right now.