Slope Up Session Club – Up

Slope Up Session Club started out as a regular party in Shibuya where musicians from around the Tokyo indie and underground scene would jam in a non-genre-specific (but basically jazz) sort of way. At the centre of the collective is Kim, vocalist and loopmeister of hip hop duo Uhnellys, and you can perhaps hear echoes of Uhnellys in the simple and insistent bass driving the opening song Background from this second album-form collection of the club’s music (the first was called Slope, this one’s called Up, so we can take a guess what the next one will be titled). That propulsive drive runs through the first couple of tracks on Up, providing a progressive rock-tinged counterpoint to later, more explicitly jazz tracks like Children are Leaving or Postman, the latter of which is given its own unique texture and charge by the spoken word poetry that the sparse musical explorations underscore. Generally sax-led, the different motifs brought in by the other instruments continue to colour the individual tracks as it works its way to its conclusion, with Start the Past bringing in an eerie violin backdrop and the closing Salt and Breakdown veering suspiciously close to disco with the four-to-the-floor beat it lays down, before layering in complications that gradually pile up into a climax. Born out of moments created live, Up is best understood as one stage in an ongoing process together with its predecessor and whatever comes next, but it nonetheless does an impressive job of conveying the loose party atmosphere in the fossilised form of a recording.

Leave a comment

Filed under Albums, Reviews

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s